Chip Gaines, the charmingly goofy half of the husband-wife duo that have made Fixer Upper a huge success for HGTV, took to Twitter to address fraud charges levied at him by a couple of former partners.
Last week, John L. Lewis and Richard L. Clark filed a lawsuit against Gaines and his wife, Joanna, for allegedly buying them out of their shares in Magnolia Realty without telling them about plans for launching the television show.
According to the lawsuit, the pair alleges that Gaines bought out their share of the company on May 6, 2013 and then announced the show two days later on May, 8, 2013.
Lewis and Clark paid Gaines $2,500 each for their share of the company but now claim the couple withheld “inside information” about the development of Fixer Upper and are demanding $1 million plus their portion of the company back or other financial compensation.
On Friday, Gaines tweeted a Bible verse (John 1:5) in what many took to be a reference to the lawsuit.
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
— Chip Gaines (@chippergaines) April 28, 2017
Another tweet from Gaines was far more straight-forward in terms of the topic.
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
The Gaines’ attorney, Jordan Mayfield, told People magazine, “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.”
Mashable has reached out to Mayfield and HGTV for further comment.
The week prior, the couple responded to rumors that Joanna was leaving the show to focus on a line of cosmetics and both shot down the rumor.
Joanna herself blogged, “Always remember: if you’re reading big, exciting news about us, and we did not confirm it on our official sites, then proceed with caution.”
And Chip called the story “fake” in response to a fan on Twitter.
For now, the Gaines are keeping plenty busy, having aired the last episode of Fixer Upper‘s fourth season in March and continuing work on their new spin-off, Fixer Upper: Behind The Design.
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