Fixer Upper Star Chip Gaines Questions Timing of Fraud Lawsuit

April 30, 2017, 5:24 PM UTC
The Build Series Presents Chip & Joanna Gaines Discussing Their New Book "The Magnolia Story"
Chip Gaines and Joanna Gaines attend The Build Series to discuss "The Magnolia Story" at AOL HQ on October 19, 2016 in New York City.
Laura Cavanaugh WireImage

Fixer Upper star Chip Gaines questioned the motive behind the $1-million fraud lawsuit filed against him by his former partners in a weekend tweet.

“Fyi: Ive had the same cell # 15 yrs.. same email for 20 yrs,” Gaines tweeted Saturday. “No one called or emailed? 4 years later ‘friends’ reach out via lawsuit.. humm.”

The reality star’s former business partners John L. Lewis and Richard L. Clark filed a lawsuit in Waco, Texas, last week alleging Gaines convinced them to sell their shares of Magnolia Real Estate Company two days before HGTV picked up the popular show, Fixer Upper. Lewis, Clark and Gaines founded the company in 2007.

Gaines and his wife, Joanna Gaines, star in HGTV’s Fixer Upper, which revolves around their Magnolia Homes business and the process of flipping and remodeling homes. The show first aired in 2013.

“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,” his former business partners wrote in court documents obtained by People.

Gaines’s former partners sold their shares in May 2013, according to the lawsuit.