While HGTV stars Chip and Joanna Gaines have recently been making headlines for the wrong reasons, those who know and work with the couple have stepped up to defend them.
As the Texas couple has enjoyed the huge success of their “Fixer Upper” television series and the growth of several businesses, they have increasingly come under the microscope by critics looking for anything to take them down.
Chip Gaines is currently being sued by his former business partners who claim, in a million-dollar lawsuit that he deceived them into selling their share of Magnolia Realty ahead of the HGTV series launch. The network and fans of the Waco-based construction and design couple rose to their defense when they were targeted by liberal media for their Christian faith, and applauded Chip’s response when he called for those who attacked the couple to be treated with “respect.”
Recently, the Gaineses were accused of deceiving a couple who appeared on the show about the crime-ridden Waco neighborhood they moved into. The homeowners, Ken and Kelly Downs, made their claims after a drunken driver crashed into their home in July.
Joshua Barrett, who along with his wife Jill were featured on Season 2 Episode 9 of “Fixer Upper,” felt he had to speak out after the Downses accusations and believes the couple should have done their research.
“When you look out your front door and you see three bars and a sign that says ‘Live Bait’ and you look at your neighbors houses an they’re just not the same quality of home that you’re buying or you’re renovating I think caveat emptor; I think it’s buyer beware,” Barrett, a fourth generation Waco resident, told Fox News.
“I’m a little disappointed in that. I think it’s not fair,” he added, noting that he has never had a problem in his 45 years of living in the city, which he feels is a safe place but not perfect.
“Just like any other city, there are places you go and places you don’t go,” Barrett said. ‘It’s no worse than any other city.”
Other couples that were featured on the Gaineses’ show also spoke out to Fox News about their positive experiences with the couple.
Chip and Joanna worked overtime on the 1910 home purchased by Dave Morrow and Marla Hendricks, from Season 1 Episode 13.
“They had big crews here working seven days a week. We’re not allowed to come by when they were working on it, but my neighbors told me there were five, six, seven trucks outside everyday until 9 or 10 o’clock at night,” Morrow said. “It was a big push but they did a great job.”
Chuck Codd from Season 1 Episode 2 said his home was a “disaster” when he and his wife, Charmaine Hooper, bought it.
“It was even worse than what TV made it out to be,” Hooper told Fox News, adding that she was “OK with whatever the result was going to be because I knew that it was going to be much nicer afterwards.”
It seems whatever critics may want to throw at the Gaineses, the couple can depend on their solid base of fans to come to their defense and set the record straight.
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