Fixer Upper host Chip Gaines is being called a liar. Chip’s former business partner is speaking up against his recent Twitter rant regarding the million-dollar lawsuit filed against him.
As the Inquisitr previously reported, Chip Gaines is being sued for $1 million by John Lewis and Richard Clark for alleged fraud by buying them out of their company just days before launching Fixer Upper on HGTV. Lewis and Clark were Chip’s longtime friends who co-founded Magnolia Real Estate.
Chip responded to the allegations on Twitter, claiming that his so-called “friends” never bothered to call or email him all this time. After all, Fixer Upper has been airing for four seasons already.
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
Now, Lewis is firing back and claims that they did try to contact Chip Gaines. In fact, Chip has known about the lawsuit for almost a year now, Lewis told People.
“We were doing everything we could in an attempt to resolve this matter privately. We waited as long as we could before having to file this lawsuit. But as of today, [Chip Gaines] has failed to take responsibility for any of the allegations outlined in our petition.”
Chip Gaines’ lawyer Jordan Mayfield confirmed that their side knew about the allegations since July 2016, via a demand letter sent through email. However, Mayfield insisted that their claims are “meritless.”
As to why the complaint is only being filed now, four years after Chip Gaines bought Lewis’ and Clark’s shares, the plaintiffs’ attorney has a ready response.
Atty. David Tekell explained to Radar Online that there is a standing “four-year [statute] of limitations” in Waco, Texas. A complaint will be lost if it has not been filed within four years, hence the timing of their filing.
“We’ve tried to resolve it quickly…We’ve been doing it for a while. [But] you have to have both sides together to make a settlement. They do not appear to want to come to the table to settle, so we will do the lawsuit thing, which is to file it, set it to trial, take it to the court, and let the court decide.”
Meanwhile, Lewis seemed wistful about his severed relationship with Chip and Joanna Gaines. He shared that when Chip bought their company shares, that was also the last time he heard from the Fixer Upper couple.
“There was a sense of betrayal and frustration. Once I had sold him my interest in the company and his show began to flourish, I never heard from him again. We had been friends for over a decade up until I sold him my interest in the company.”
Despite the love lost between the two parties, Lewis said that he’s willing to forgive Chip Gaines and celebrate their more than 10 years of friendship.
“I’ll hug it out if he’s willing to,” he said.
Lawsuit or not, there is no denying that Fixer Upper was a pivotal point in Chip’s career. In four short years, his Magnolia Real Estate has been turned into a mega brand, the Magnolia Market. Chip and wife Joanna Gaines now run a farm, boutique hotel, bakery, and furniture shop. They also juggle writing for books and magazines between filming multiple shows. Fixer Upper Season 5 is currently in production. There is also a new show in the works, Behind the Design, also to air on HGTV.
Chip and Joanna Gaines have yet to file their official response in court. The lawsuit is the latest legal trouble for the Fixer Upper duo. They are also being sued by a fan for injuries obtained at their Magnolia Silos farm, and by their neighbor for putting up a barricade between their properties ahead of the agreed upon schedule.
[Featured Image by Brian Ach/Invision/AP Images]