Fixer Upperstar Chip Gaines has spoken out against his former real estate partners at Magnolia Realty after they filed suit against him, as well as HGTV and its subsidiaries, for fraud and the lost value of their formerly shared company.
Last week, Gaines' former colleagues sued the network, alleging Gaines had duped them into selling their shares in Magnolia for the paltry sum of $2,500 just days before announcing the show in 2013, knowing that the value of the company would soon take off after his reality program with wife Joanna Gaines hit the air.
In response to the claims, Gaines wrote on Twitter Saturday, "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."
Gaines' lawyer previously responded to the suit in a statement, telling USA Today, "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' former partners, John L. Lewis and Richard L. Clark, at the Waco, Texas company are seeking $1 million in damages and a returned stake in the company, of which they used to own one-third apiece before the 2013 sale. The trio had reportedly founded the company in 2007, but allege they were bought out on Gaines' guise that the business was "less than worthless."
Indeed, the company certainly appears to be flourishing since the show's debut. Just two weeks ago, the Magnolia Instagram page shared an update as to the realty brand's status with a slideshow captioned, "Did you know that we have a full-service realty team? @magnoliarealtytexas is based in central Texas, but we have agents in Houston, Austin, Dallas, San Antonio and, of course, Waco. Be sure to follow them to stay in the know. Check out photos of their newly renovated office space here in Waco!"