Chip Gaines did everything in his power to land a reality TV show — even if that meant faking storylines. Radar Online reports that Chip dished out a lot of cash to keep his Fixer Upper producers happy. With Chip and wife Joanna Gaines fighting multiple lawsuits, is their show headed for cancellation?
Back in 2012, court records reveal that Chip bought a 1978 houseboat for a little under $20,000. The boat later played a large part in the early seasons and helped create drama on the show. In fact, Joanna credits the boat storyline for keeping the show afloat. As fans will recall, the boat caused a huge fight between Chip and Joanna because she didn’t approve of the impulsive purchase. It now, however, looks like it was all planned well ahead of time.
The owner of the boathouse actually sued Chip 12 days after he surprised Joanna. The owner claims that Chip failed to pay him $19,400 for the boat and the reality star failed to appear in court that summer. A judge ruled in favor of the original owner but Chip still refused to pay up, which resulted in another lawsuit that December.
“Gaines purchased the Boat as a surprise to his wife and as a fixer-up project to be filmed as part of a reality TV show they were attempting to have produced,” the court records revealed. “It was most important for Gaines that the boat be deliverable on or before a certain date when a television producer and cameraman would be present to film his wife’s surprise upon seeing the Boat for the first time.”
The lawsuit wasn’t settled until March of 2013 when a court ordered Chip to pay off the balance of what he owed. Chip was also forced to hand out $20,000 for attorney fees with a five percent interest rate. For the Fixer Upper couple, the lawsuit was only the beginning of their legal woes.
According to NY Daily News, Chip and Joanna are being sued for a million dollars for blocking off a parking lot next to their Magnolia Market. Head Properties is suing the couple for preventing them from charging customers a parking fee by installing a gate in an alleyway. The company is seeking anywhere from $200,000 to $1 million and wants the gate taken down.
The Fixer Upper stars are also dealing with heat over their affiliation with an evangelical church that promotes conversion therapy for homosexuals. The couple has not addressed the reports surrounding their church, though HGTV did release an official statement regarding their stance on the issue.
“We don’t discriminate against members of the LGBT community in any of our shows,” a spokesperson for HGTV stated. “HGTV is proud to have a crystal clear, consistent record of including people from all walks of life in its series.”
As if that isn’t enough, AOL reports that a woman from San Antonio is suing Chip and Joanna for bodily injuries she suffered at their Magnolia Market. Nancy Brown says that a steel rod attached to picnic table canopy hit her in the head and caused permanent damage. She’s asking the court to award her over $100,000 in compensation.
In addition to the many lawsuits, Chip and Joanna are also displeased with how some of their clients are handling their homes after the renovation is over. According to Realtor, several of the properties they helped restore, including the “barndominium,” were rented out and later sold for a big profit.
This trend has caused the couple to rethink their selection process. Moving forward, Fixer Upper will avoid renovating homes that people aren’t going to live in.
“That’s the true intent of our show, and we want to ensure that does not get lost in this new vacation rental trend,” the couple shared. “We are going to do our best to protect that moving forward.”
Fixer Upper returns for Season 5 later this year.
[Featured Image by HGTV]