With a happy marriage, four healthy kids, and a wildly popular new HGTV show, Chelsea Houska is on top of the world these days.
But no one reaches that level of happiness and success without attracting a few haters, so it’s not surprising that lots of people are throwing stones at Chelsea these days.
For the most part, the vitriol takes the form of relatively innocuous social media trolling.
But it looks as though one company is taking things a step further by doing battle with Houska in court.
As we previously reported, Chelsea and husband Cole DeBoer are being sued by a consulting company called Envy.
Envy claims that promotions they ran for Chelsea and Cole’s social media pages helped earn millions for the couple.
They allege that the DeBoers lied about how much they earned from those promotions, thus depriving Envy of a $3 million cut.
Envy filed suit against Chelsea and Cole last year, and there was a time when it looked like the couple would settle out of court, if only to avoid further bad press.
Perhaps they’ve been emboldened by the fact that their HGTV show has already been picked up for a second season, or maybe they just don’t feel like paying out millions when they don’t believe they did anything wrong.
Whatever the case, it seems that the DeBoers have declined to settle the suit, and will soon face off against Envy in court.
“The parties do not seek a settlement conference at this time,” reads a court document obtained this week by UK tabloid The Sun.
“Chelsea and Cole breached their contracts by directing certain Brands to directly pay Chelsea, Cole, one of the other Shared Clients, and/or other persons or entities to avoid paying Envy Licensing Fees,” reads the suit filed by the plaintiff.
“Chelsea and Cole failed to disclose such directions and payments to Envy and did not pay the Envy Licensing Fees owed upon such sums.”
Envy goes on to allege that Chelsea and Cole neglected to hold up their end of the bargain by “fail[ing] to perform” sponsored content duties for a slew of companies, including Bombay Hair Wand, Carseat Canopy, Diff, Fab Fit Fun, Loving Tan, Profile Sanford, Sugar Bear Hair, Timeless Organics, and more.
Chelsea and Cole are also accused of brokering secret deals so that Envy would not receive any cut of the proceeds.
“Chelsea and Cole now negotiate their branding and licensing agreements with the Shared Clients to be executed by, and paid through, the Concealed Entities,” reads a filing by Envy’s attorneys.
“Chelsea and Cole received, and continue to receive, revenue earned by the Shared Clients upon Property through the Concealed Entities from the Brands.”
Obviously, the suit could potentially damage Chelsea and Cole’s reputation, if only because it reminds fans that the self-consciously folksy DeBoers are actually so well off that they casually make multimillion dollar deals.
But clearly, the couple has weighed their options and decided that a protracted court battle is worth the risk.
We’ll keep you posted! This could get messy!