The “Fixer Upper” couple Chip and Joanna Gaines have made a name brand for themselves on their HGTV program where they fix up old homes and redecorate them using reclaimed wood, mason jars and a lot of shiplap. But two old business partner of Chip’s have filed a suit against him for fraud.
According to documents, Chip bought out John L. Lewis and Richard L. Clark, two former owners, of their realty company Magnolia Real Estate Company days before their show “Fixer Upper” was picked up of by HGTV, which draws heavily on the name “Magnolia,” and features the company prominently.
The 24-page suit was filed Wednesday at the state district court in Waco, Texas.
“Lewis and Clark were equal partners with Gaines in founding the Magnolia Real Estate Company in 2007,” KWTX writes. Gaines bought each partners’ share for $2,500.
“With this insider information in hand, 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 suite claims.
Since the launch of the show, the Magnolia name has been integrated into nearly all of their projects, including a magazine titled “The Magnolia Journal.”
“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 told Fox News.