‘Real Housewives’ Creators File $5 Million Lawsuit Against Former Business Partner

While most of the Real Housewives drama happens in front of the camera, there’s now even more drama happening off set. According to a new report, two men have filed a suit against their former business partner, claiming he conned them out of Real Housewives profits.

On November 6, Page Six reported Patrick Moses and Kevin Kaufman had filed a suit against Scott Dunlop and Bravo in a “case of textbook fraud and self-dealing.”

Several years ago, Kaufman paid a visit to his longtime friend, Dunlop, who was living in a wealthy gated community, known as Coto de Caza, in Orange County, California. “Dunlop believed that the neighborhood could offer an entertainment opportunity,” but instead of a reality show, Dunlop was considering a “satirical community-theater type program.” Kaufman, however, thought a reality series would be better, and after bringing aboard Moses, the trio launched an idea called Behind the Gates.

From there, the three men created a production company named Ventana, agreeing to split profits equally. A short time later, things went south. After the Real Housewives of Orange County became a hit for Bravo, starring the likes of Vicki Gunvalson and Jeana Keough — who recently reunited, as reported by the Inquisitr — Dunlop reportedly worked out a deal with Bravo, which would cut Kaufman and Moses out of any future projects.

In court documents, reps for the network alleged they cut Kaufman and Moses out of the franchise because they preferred to use a Los Angeles-based production company, as opposed to one based in New York as Kaufman and Moses’ was, to cut costs. Bravo claimed they bought the two men out with a “few thousand dollars,” because there “was ‘no money’ left in the project.”

“Dunlop’s assurances to Kaufman were even more duplicitous given their years long friendship,” the suit said.

In the documents, it was claimed by Kaufman and Moses that they recently learned through a colleague that Dunlop signed a deal with Bravo and the Real Housewives, and took “for himself millions of dollars in producer fees and other compensation” that should have been split between himself, Kaufman and Moses. Instead, the suit alleged, Dunlop and Bravo “resorted to lies and deception to try to conceal what they had done and avoid the consequences of it.”

In a second report, via TMZ, it was noted that Kaufman and Moses were offered a paltry $8,500 each to release their interests in the project.

Following the success of The Real Housewives of Orange County, Bravo launched spinoff series of the franchise in New York, Atlanta, New Jersey, D.C. Beverly Hills, and Miami.

In other news, as the Inquisitr reported, both Tamra Barney and Heather Dubrow are expected to return to The Real Housewives of Orange County next year.

[Photo via Twitter]