‘Fixer Upper’s’ Chip Gaines sued by former business partners for fraud
Everyone wants a piece of the pie. They agreed to the buyout, tough luck if they sold too soon. “Fixer Upper” star Chip Gaines is being sued by two former business partners in a million-dollar fraud lawsuit.According to court documents obtained by KWTX, John L. Lewis and Richard L. Clark, former co-owners of Magnolia Realty, claim Gaines bought them out of the company two days before HGTV picked up “Fixer Upper” which “prominently featured the ‘Magnolia’ brand name.”
Lewis and Clark filed their 24-page lawsuit Wednesday in state district court in Waco, Texas, and are seeking more than $1 million in damages and non-monetary relief, KWTX reports.
The scorned business partners say Gaines bought their shares of Magnolia Realty for $2,500 each while working with HGTV on the future hit show.
“In summary, at a time when only the Defendants knew that ‘Fixer Upper’ had been fast-tracked for a one-hour premier 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 stated.
Gaines’ attorney told Fox News, “We are confident that these claims will be found to be meritless, and it is disappointing to see people try to take advantage of the hard work and success of Chip and Joanna Gaines.”