This is one problem that Chip Gaines may not be able to fix.

In a lawsuit filed by the Fixer Upper star’s former business partners, Richard Clark and John Lewis, the men reveal that the 42-year-old husband of Joanna Gaines once threatened his former partner via text message.

MORE: Check out Facts You Didn’t Know About Chip and Joanna!

In the text message, Chip warns, “You better tell Rick to be careful. I don’t come from the nerdy prep school he’s from. And when people talk to me that way they get their asses kicked. And if he’s not ready to do that he better shut his mouth…I’m not the toughest guy there is, but I can assure you that would not end well for Rick.”

For the first time, John is speaking out about the lawsuit, which he says is the result of being forced to take legal action against his one-time friend.

John Lewis and Richard Clark have filed a lawsuit claiming that the reality star manipulated them into selling their combined 66 percent share of Magnolia Realty for $5,000 back in 2013 — without mentioning the fact that just days earlier, Chip and his wife Joanna signed a deal with HGTV for their reality show.

chip joanna gaines getty images

“We have been attempting to resolve this matter privately for many months,” he tells In Touch exclusively. “There were multiple communications between my attorney and Chip’s attorney and multiple attempts to get this resolved. I wouldn’t say that [Chip] absolutely ignored it, but we never got into a position where there was any realistic chance of resolving it without filing the lawsuit.”

MUST SEE: ‘Fixer Upper’ Star Joanna Gaines Addresses Rumors That She’s Leaving HGTV

Chip has spoken out about the lawsuit on social media, tweeting that he’s had the same number and email address for years, yet his “friend” reached out with a lawsuit.

While Chip may be feeling insulted that his so-called friends are pursuing the lawsuit, John makes it clear that any value Chip had for their friendship was diminished years ago.

“The bottom line is we owned a business together. We had been friends for a decade,” he tells In Touch.

MORE: How Did Chip and Joanna Gaines Meet?

“The choice could have been when he had the knowledge that there was a success on the horizon that he could have allowed his friend and business partner to enjoy that future success with him, and he chose not to do so. I knew they were filming a pilot. I had no idea that it was going to be aired on any network, let alone HGTV, and didn’t know about that until two days after we signed over the company to Chip. I trusted what Chip was telling me…the business we owned together had no value.”

For more on this, pick up the latest issue of In Touch — and for more exclusive content sign up for our newsletter!

Have a tip? Send it to us! Email In Touch at