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Tuesday, May 21, 2024 | Back issues
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Reality Show Star Tries to Stop Book

LOS ANGELES (CN) - Jeff Lewis, who hosts the show "Flipping Out" on Bravo TV, sued his assistant to stop her from revealing confidential information about him in her book.

Jeff Lewis, Jeff Lewis Productions, and Jeff Lewis Design sued Jenni Pulos in Superior Court.

Lewis is a home renovator and interior decorator. "Flipping Out" originally followed Lewis as he renovated homes and sold them for profit, but now focuses on his interior design business.

Pulos has appeared with Lewis in all six of the show's seasons, and has worked as Lewis's "personal and executive assistant" for more than 10 years, according to Lewis's complaint.

"In her employment with Jeff for these many years, Jenni has become privy to both trade secrets and other confidential information relating to the operation of the plaintiff businesses as well as highly confidential and private information relating to Jeff's personal life and business dealings," the complaint states.

Lewis claims that Pulos signed two confidentiality agreements, promising not to reveal any private information she learned about him while working for him, even if her employment ended.

But he claims that in early October this year, he "became aware that Jenni was writing a book apparently about 'her life.' Shortly thereafter, plaintiffs reminded Jenni of the agreement and requested that she ensure that no confidential information relating to Jeff's personal or professional life be included in the book and that Jenni adhere to the written promises made relating to all plaintiffs in the agreement."

The complaint continues: "Shortly thereafter, Jeff learned that Jenni had apparently signed a contract with a publisher to publish this book, but was again assured by Jenni that she was not breaking her written agreement and was not writing about Jeff or her work experiences while employed by Jeff and/or the entity plaintiffs. Jeff was informed by Jenni that the book strictly related to Jenni's own family and/or personal life - and that the book is not yet finished but is in the process of being written.

"However, Jeff soon learned through an Internet search that the title of Jenni's new book was 'Hang in There, Baby - What One of the World's Most Difficult Bosses Taught Me About Life, Work, and Love,' and plaintiff is informed and believes and thereon alleges that this book is apparently already written."

Lewis claims the book has already been assigned an ISBN number, will have 288 pages, and will hit shelves in 2013.

He says he wrote to Pulos demanding that she not publish the book, and sent a copy of the confidentiality agreements to her agents.

Pulos and her agents told him the book was not finished despite evidence to the contrary, Lewis says, and told him that it would not contain any confidential information about him.

"Plaintiffs are informed and believe and thereon allege that in response to this cease and desist letter, Jenni and her publishers merely removed the language 'What One of the World's Most Difficult Bosses Taught Me About Life, Work, and Love,' but did not otherwise materially alter the actual contents of the book," the complaint states. When Lewis demanded to see a copy of the manuscript, he says, Pulos told him "her agents instructed her not to show Jeff any of the book copy."

Lewis claims that his personal and professional reputation will be damaged, and he will suffer the loss of "confidential proprietary trade secrets" if Pulos is allowed to publish the book.

He seeks a preliminary and permanent injunction preventing her revealing any "personal and professional facts and information" about him in the book.

He is represented by J. Scott Souders of Newport Beach.

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