Fixer Upper's Chip Gaines Sued by Former Partners Over HGTV Deal: Report © FilmMagic The Build Series Presents Chip & Joanna Gaines Discussing Their New Book "The Magnolia Story"
Former partners in Chip Gaines' Magnolia Real Estate Company are suing the Fixer Upper star and others for more than $1 million, claiming that Gaines bought them out without telling them that he had made a deal with HGTV, reports say.
In the lawsuit filed Wednesday in Waco, Texas, John L. Lewis and Richard L. Clark claim that Gaines, 42, urged them to sell their equal shares while hiding news that HGTV planned to broadcast Fixer Upper and feature the Magnolia brand name, KWTX reports.
"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," Gaines' attorney, Jordan Mayfield, told KWTX.
Lewis and Clark founded the company with Gaines in 2007 and the business largely operated out of Waco with a single real estate agent, according to the suit obtained by KARE. Now, the Magnolia firm employs "over 93 real estate agents" and operates in nearly every major city in Texas, the suit alleges. © Brian Ach/Invision/AP
The men claim in the suit that Gaines bought their shares of the real estate company for $2,500 each with "insider information in hand" - Gaines allegedly described the company as "distressed."
"Chip Gaines convinced plaintiffs to sell their membership interests in Magnolia Realty quickly to him before a public announcement that Fixer Upper was picked up by HGTV," the suit reportedly states.
Gaines allegedly bought Lewis and Clark's shares officially on May 6, 2013, according to the documents published by KARE. Two days later, Gaines publicly announced that Fixer Upper had been picked up by HGTV.
Along with Gaines, the suit names Magnolia Realty, Scripps Networks the company that owns HGTV and High Noon Productions, which produces Fixer Upper, according to the Waco Tribune-Herald.
"You can't believe everything you read," Joanna wrote in a note posted on her blog At Home. "No! I am not getting into the business of facial creams. And no worries, believing some of these stories happens to the best of us."
Joanna does not appear to be named in the suit.