Fixer Upper star Chip Gaines is fighting back after two former business partners filed a $1 million lawsuit against him.
Last week, Gaines’ former partners, John L. Lewis and Richard L. Clark, filed the suit. The two claim that Gaines bought them out of his company, Magnolia Realty, without divulging the fact that he had signed a TV deal with HGTV. Lewis and Clark claim this was an intentional move by Gaines to earn as much money from the launch of the now-hit series Fixer Upper as possible.
Gaines indirectly addressed the lawsuit by posting this tweet just days after the news broke.
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
But Chip wasn’t able to get the final word. His former business partners responded to the tweet with an official joint statement. In it, they claim Gaines was well aware of the legal battle that was brewing.
“A copy of the lawsuit was sent to him at that email address in August of 2016,” Lewis and Clark’s lawyer, David Tekell, told the Waco Tribune. “In response to that correspondence, he referred it to (attorney) Jordan Mayfield, [who] has been his spokesman and representing him since then. If the suggestion is he didn’t have advance notice of this lawsuit in a private communication in an attempt to resolve this quietly and privately, then that is wrong.”
Chip’s lawyer quickly responded, saying that nor Lewis or Clark had tried to resolve the problem before filing the suit. He also acknowledged that they presented Gaines with an “outrageous” settlement option, but it was declined.
“The fact is that for over three years, Chip heard nothing from Mr. Lewis or Mr. Clark about these issues, and the first time he did hear from them was in the form of a demand letter from a lawyer threatening a lawsuit,” Mayfield said.
It looks like this messy fight will most likely be resolved in the courtroom. So far, it’s unclear when the case will be heard by a judge.