When you're in the public eye, everything you do is scrutinized—something HGTV stars Chip and Joanna Gaines have learned the hard way since their show, Fixer Upper, became a nationwide hit. They've seen their share of criticism and instances of people trying to profit from their success (and occasionally, through less-than-noble schemes and scams).
Through it all, the couple's learned to roll with the punches and stand up for themselves when they need to, like in these instances.
Rural Kentucky has seen a dramatic rise in thefts of barnwood, and some speculate that thieves are stealing reclaimed wood due to rising demand for the "modern farmhouse" style Chip and Joanna popularized. The Gaineses have never advocated or suggested stealing to get their look. In fact, they have several furniture and decor lines so you can get their style the old-fashioned way: by paying cold, hard cash, thank you very much.
In June 2018, the couple made headlines everywhere after the Environmental Protection Agency reviewed Fixer Upper footage and determined Magnolia Homes wasn't properly minimizing the risks of lead paint exposure in the houses they renovated. The company was hit with a $40,000 fine, and the Gaineses took action immediately to correct things. A March 21 episode of their show discussed lead-based paint hazards (which Chip tweeted about), and Chip and Joanna are putting $160,000 into a lead-paint abatement program in Waco, Texas, where they live and film.
John Lewis and Richard Clark filed a $1 million lawsuit against Chip and others in Waco, claiming that they were bought out of Magnolia Real Estate Company without knowing Fixer Upper had been picked up by HGTV. John accused Chip of defrauding him, he told , adding "[Chip] had gotten all he could out of our relationship and was done with it." The Gaineses lawyer called these claims "meritless."
Okay, bear with me, because this one gets a little convoluted: Joanna struck a deal to sell furniture in her Magnolia Home Collection through Standard Furniture Manufacturing Company Inc. (we'll call them SFMC). SFMC contracted out LF Products to make the goods, and when they arrived, Jojo reportedly noticed they were made with a lower-quality water buffalo hide than the cowhide they'd agreed upon.
SFMC sued LF Products to cover the costs of the products, which they deemed "substandard and unsaleable," according to court documents.
Though Joanna wasn't directly involved with the lawsuit, she was asked to sit for a deposition, so the HGTV star supposedly asked for a hefty sum for her appearance: , reported the New York Post.