Fixer Upper co-host Chip Gaines responded to a million-dollar lawsuit against him last weekend, taking to social media to question his former business partners’ timing and even invoking the Bible.
As USA Today reports, Gaines’ former business partners slapped the HGTV star with a million-dollar lawsuit last week, alleging fraud. Back before Fixer Upper was a thing, Chip was a co-owner of Waco, Texas-based Magnolia Realty, along with his two partners, John L. Lewis and Richard L. Clark.
— Lee Anne Raybould (@hiltonhead10) April 16, 2017
Back in May 2013, according to the lawsuit, Gaines convinced his two partners to sell their stakes in Magnolia Realty to him for $2,500 each – a pittance. Two days later, Gaines and his wife Joanna announced the launch of their HGTV series, which not coincidentally, prominently featured Magnolia Realty, debuted. Fast-forward to 2017, and Fixer Upper is a legitimate hit, making Chip & Joanna millionaires in the process. Meanwhile, Lewis & Clark have naught but $5,000 between them (at least, as far as Magnolia Realty is concerned).
As Crime Online reports, as far as Lewis & Clark are concerned, that’s fraud.
“In summary, at a time when only the Defendants knew that Fixer Upper had been fast-tracked for a one-hour premiere on HGTV and was on the verge of radically changing their lives and business enterprises, Chip Gaines conspired to eliminate his business partners — notwithstanding their longstanding friendship– in order to ensure that he alone would profit from Magnolia Realty’s association with Fixer Upper.”
This past weekend, Chip responded to the lawsuit – unofficially, at least – via Twitter.
On Friday, Gaines quoted the Bible
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
— Chip Gaines (@chippergaines) April 28, 2017
In case you’re wondering, that’s from John 1:5, and though the Inquisitr is not a theological publication, it seems safe to tell you that the verse is not about real estate or lawsuits. Nevertheless, Chip apparently finds it meaningful.
Then on Saturday, Chip posted again on Twitter, this time addressing the lawsuit a little more directly.
Fyi: Ive had the same cell # 15 yrs.. same email for 20 yrs. No one called or emailed? 4 years later “friends” reach out via lawsuit.. humm
— Chip Gaines (@chippergaines) April 29, 2017
Gaines’ lawyer, Jordan Mayfield, was a little more diplomatic in his assessment of the lawsuit, according to an official statement provided to the media.
“We are confident that these claims will be found to be meritless, and it is disappointing to see people try to take advantage of the hard work and success of Chip and Joanna Gaines.”
— Sarcastard (@sarcastard1) May 1, 2017
Fixer Upper, for those not familiar, is a popular HGTV show that focuses on Chip & Joanna Gaines as they help potential home buyers pick out a home that’s in need of repair. According to The L.A. Times, the show’s format is simple and straightforward: a couple is shown three possible homes, each of which in need of renovation. Chip & Joanna help the customers understand the repairs that are needed and how Joanna, with her design skills, and Chip, with his contracting pedigree, can bring it up to par.
The buyers generally have a budget of about $200,000 for the home, plus around another $30,000 for repairs, according to The Waco Tribune. In some larger real estate markets, $230,000 will get you a decaying hovel, but in Waco (population: 132,000), that’s a pretty generous budget; a brief scan of Waco listings on Zillow shows that $200-250k can get a buyer can get a 4-bedroom, 2-bath, 2,300-square-foot home.
Do you believe that the Fixer Upper lawsuit has any merit?
[Featured Image by Brian Ach/Invision/AP]