“Flipping Out” star Jeff Lewis has been vocal about his rift with former employee/co-star Jenni Pulos, and how the behind-the-scenes drama on the Slice reality hit is apparently jeopardizing the show’s future.
Pulos, however, has kept silent about what went wrong between the former friends — until now.
In an interview with People, Pulos opens up about the explosive lunch — captured by cameras and will air in an upcoming episode of “Flipping Out” — that caused their relationship to implode, resulting in her being fired after 11 years working for Jeff Lewis Designs.
“I had no idea it was coming,” says Pulos, 45, who started out as Lewis’s assistant and rose to become an exec producer on the show. “I didn’t decide. He decided he was going to terminate me from his business and so then, in turn, the decision was made. I always saw myself seeing the show through.”
Looking back, Pulos admits she still finds what took place to be “puzzling.”
“He said he wanted me to go and do my thing. We see things very differently. I believed I had been an asset to his business and he believed differently, I imagine.”
After Lewis fired her, Pulos says he pitched her the idea of remaining on the show in the role of a “friend,” something she did not find appealing. “I was not going to fake a friendship,” she says.
“After the final disagreement, I decided I was not going to continue a friendship with someone who thought of me the way he did,” insisting that Lewis’s allegations that she reported him to the show’s production company to allege wrongful termination, abuse, and victimization are untrue.
In an earlier interview, Lewis told People that Pulos’s lawsuit “put my entire career in jeopardy. My family, my livelihood, everything,” adding the whole thing will likely lead to the cancellation of “Flipping Out”.
He added: “I just lost my job. I’m pretty sure of that. But I need to get in front of the story and I have to tell my side of the story. I’m a dead man walking but I have to tell my story. I would never do that to a friend of 15, 16 years… I would never do that to her.”
Pulos, however, insists that Lewis’s words are simply not true. “Citing wrongful termination claim, wrong. Citing abuse claim, wrong. Citing victimization claim, wrong,” she says, declaring that the relationship viewers saw onscreen was “very real. I was his employee and I worked for him. It was very authentic, and that’s important.”
Pulos says she hasn’t spoken to Lewis since she was terminated and explains why she’s remained silent until now. “My engaging would not have been the right move. What good is that going to do? All I know is my own truth.”
Looking to the future, the mother of two says she’s ready to embrace new opportunities. “My message to my daughters is to focus not on the disappointment, but on the next triumph. Change can be difficult but I’m embracing it. I am grateful for as far as this journey could take me and just so excited about what lies ahead.”
Lewis fired back at Pulos during his SiriusXM radio show. “It’s semantics at this point,” Lewis said on “Jeff Lewis Live!”, reports People, addressing her claim that “she never made a formal complaint… Maybe you didn’t walk into HR with your attorney but you made accusations. And those accusations had to have been investigated.”
Lewis also said that “my showrunner was on the phone for four hours talking to multiple executives going frame by frame to make sure there was no abuse that was being alleged,” adding: “I would never make something like this up because it is damaging to my reputation and my career. So that is not something I would ever make up.”
Pulos has yet to respond to Lewis’ latest remarks.