Fixer Upper star Chip Gaines is facing a million-dollar lawsuit for fraud. The reality host is being sued by two former business partners, who claim that he bought them out so they wouldn’t profit from the hit HGTV show.
According to NY Daily News, John L. Lewis and Richard L. Clark were co-owners of Magnolia Realty prior to the first season of Fixer Upper. The two men owned the company with Chip and helped found it in 2007. They say that Chip developed ideas for the series while working for the company.
Lewis and Clark claim that Chip bought them out for $2,500 each but did not inform them about the show and how it might improve the company’s value. They allege that Chip convinced them to sell because he didn’t want to share profits from the show.
“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,” the lawsuit explained.
Jordan Mayfield, Chip’s attorney, released an official statement on the matter and doesn’t believe the allegations have any merit. Mayfield was also disappointed that others are trying to profit from Chip and Joanna Gaines’ success on Fixer Upper.
Fox News is reporting that Lewis and Clark are seeking a little over one million dollars in damages. The total includes non-monetary relief, as well as money lost when they originally sold the company.
The new lawsuit marks another controversy for the couple, who have been through a lot over the past year. In the past few weeks, rumors surfaced that Joanna was actually leaving the hit series to pursue new business opportunities in cosmetics. According to People, Joanna recently addressed the rumors and assured fans that Fixer Upper would continue as usual.
“So many things are happening right now and it feels like we are moving at the speed of light,” Joanna shared on her blog. “At times, it’s even hard to keep our own parents in the loop. It’s true. At this point in our career we can honestly say, we’ve heard it all—from reports of us moving our family to Vegas to us having more or less children than we actually have. So, remember, you can’t believe everything you read.”
Joanna has hosted Fixer Upper with Chip since 2013. Joanna was reportedly starting her own line of skin care products after her image was used to promote cosmetics in a few online ads. It didn’t take long for rumors to surface that Joanna was leaving the show to promote an anti-aging cream called Derma Folia. Fortunately, a rep of Joanna has come forward and debunked the rumors.
“No! I am not getting into the business of facial creams,” Joanna shared. “And no worries, believing some of these stories happens to the best of us.”
The renovation star went on to address a few rumors about Chip. Not only did she confirm that Season 5 is currently in production, but she also put down the reports that they are expecting their fifth child. Joanna’s post is certainly good news for fans, but she did not address the million-dollar lawsuit leveled against Chip.
It isn’t clear how the new lawsuit might affect Chip and Joanna in the long run. Fans can only hope that things work out and the two can get back to doing what they do best.
Tell us! What do you think about the latest Fixer Upper lawsuit? Does Chip Gaines owe his former partners? Let us know in the comments below.
[Featured Image by HGTV]