The former HGTV stars were repped by Vigliano Associates when they agreed to a $12.5 million deal to author five books for publishing powerhouse HarperCollins, with the agency taking 7.5 percent of payments from the pair.
Chip and Joanna delivered on the first two books, but David Vigliano claims that the couple “concocted a scheme” to get out of the deal for their next three literary efforts.
The court documents claim that the original deal applied to books authored by Joanna, but the pair tried to swap Chip as the author of one of the books while eliminating another effort altogether.
The court papers also claim that Joanna signed with a different literary agent for her latest book, The Stories We Tell: Every Piece of Your Story Matters, which was released on November 8, 2022. Vigliano said that they should be the ones profiting from the money she’s made and are seeking at least $1 million in damages.
“Joanna and Chip Gaines brand themselves as moral Christians who purportedly operate in an ethical manner … nothing could be further from the truth,” the agency noted in their court filing.
Over the years, Chip and Joanna have penned a series of memoirs, shared recipes in cookbooks and authored children’s books, with 10 titles between them.
Joanna wrote a book with her children in 2019 called We Are the Gardeners, telling the tale of how the family started a garden together and overcame obstacles along the way. The next year, she followed it up with a second children’s book, The World Needs Who You Were Made to Be, drawing from her experiences being a mom to her five kids: Drake, Ella Rose, Duke, Emmie Kay and Crew.
“The idea for this book was inspired by my kids. One of my greatest joys as a mother has been to watch them grow and change and become who they are,” Joanna shared on her Magnolia blog in 2020. “And, between the five of them, they are all becoming very different people — in their likes and dislikes, in how they approach situations, in how they solve problems and simply in how they go about their day to day.”
Life & Style reached out to Chip and Joanna’s reps, as well as Vigliano Associates about the matter.