Chip Gaines, star of the hit HGTV show, Fixer Upper, was named in a million-dollar lawsuit filed in state district court in Waco, Texas, on Thursday, by two of his former business partners who accused him of fraud.
NY Daily News reports that former co-owners of Magnolia Realty, Richard L. Clark and John L. Lewis, claim that Gaines “bought them out” a few days before Fixer Upper was broadcast nationally. The lawsuit asserts that Gaines was secretly making plans for the show in 2013 while still working alongside both Clark and Lewis. The trio had been in business together since 2007.
— KGW News (@KGWNews) April 28, 2017
Gaines’ former business partners accuse the TV show star of convincing them to sell 1/3 ownership stakes of Magnolia Realty for $2,500 each while failing to tell them that the value would increase significantly due to the show’s popularity. Additionally, they claimed that had they known Gaines’ plans for the reality show, they would have never sold their two-thirds for $5,000 (combined).
“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.”
Gaines’ lawyer, Jordan Mayfield, of Waco, said that the plaintiffs are trying to take advantage of Gaines and his wife, Joanna, and that he is “confident that these claims will be found to be meritless.”
In addition to Chip Gaines, the lawsuit also names High Noon Productions, Magnolia Realty, and Scripps Network as defendants.
[Feature Photo: AP/Brian Ach/Invision]