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The Wall Street Journal: Literary agent sues ‘Fixer Upper’ stars Chip and Joanna Gaines for breach of contract

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A New York literary agent is seeking millions in damages in a lawsuit against Chip and Joanna Gaines, the home renovation couple who made farmhouse chic a major trend.

The breach-of-contract lawsuit, filed Wednesday in New York State Supreme Court, alleges the Gaineses amended the terms of a five-book publishing deal with a $12.5 million advance brokered for them by Vigliano Associates without the consent of their then-literary agent, David Vigliano. 

The contract alterations allegedly deprived Vigliano Associates of some fees and other earnings spelled out in the original deal and reduced the number of books from five to four, the lawsuit said. It also took an option for a sixth book off the table, the suit said. 

Vigliano Associates is seeking damages as determined at trial, based on earnings of the disputed books, the suit said. It has requested, at a minimum, no less than $1 million. The lawsuit names the Waco, Texas-based couple, their business enterprises C&J Gaines Limited Co. and Magnolia Brands LLC, and their management company, United Talent Agency, as defendants. 

Vigliano’s lawyer, Larry Hutcher, said the contract dispute stems from the break between the Gaineses and their previous management company, Westport Entertainment Associates LLC.

An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.

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