Jeff Lewis' latest property drama just took an Ugly turn.
The star of Bravo's Flipping Out is living up to his show's tempestuous title after a restraining order was granted and lawsuit filed against him Wednesday by his neighbors, Ugly Betty star Ashley Jensen and her husband Terence Beesley.
According to the documents filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court, Jensen and Beesley live next door to a house Lewis is currently renovating in the tony Los Feliz section of the city. The couple took issue earlier this year when they realized a deck Lewis had constructed on the fixer-upper home had encroached on their pricey property.
And that's when things got downright unneighborly.
After all parties were alerted to the violation, Jensen and her hubby claim that Lewis offered them $10,000 to buy an easement and simply let the deck stand. However, after consulting with other real estate experts, the couple say they were informed that the property Lewis had encroached upon was actually worth $100,000—10 times the amount of his lowball sum.
Clearly unhappy with the new figure, Lewis, the papers claim, paid a late-night visit to his neighbors' home and countered with a $30,000 offer, as well as a threat to make their lives miserable and generally talk nonstop smack about them on the new season of his show.
Apparently it wasn't the best business tactic.
As a result of Jensen and Beesley's lawsuit, which also named Lewis' business partner and reality-show costar Ryan Brown, earlier this week the court issued a temporary restraining order against Lewis, ordering him to stay 50 feet away from Jensen's home and not harass, assault or trespass on the property.
Jensen and her husband have also asked that the offending deck be removed.
Lewis has responded by issuing a statement painting himself as the victim and his neighbors as nothing more than publicity seekers (viewers of his show no doubt expected nothing less).
Lewis said he and his neighbors "have a simple encroachment dispute that should have been resolved informally. Having apparently watched my reality show, they now feel they can exploit my personality to increase their media exposure and their alleged damages."
He also denied any boorish behavior on his part.
"I have never threatened either of them with physical harm, nor was I abusive or verbally threatening to either of them. In fact I have never even met Ms. Jensen. The court will decide how much the easement is worth and Ms. Jensen and Mr. Beesley will then be left having to earn media coverage on their talent alone."
Lewis is expected to appear in court on the matter of the restraining order on Jan. 9.