Kandi Burruss is flying above the haters — in a courtroom that is!
As reported, Johnnie Winston — Burruss‘ former employee is suing the reality star for non-payment of overtime wages. The formal complaint filed by Winston states, “failure to pay overtime and minimum wage in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938.”
While employed with Burruss‘ company — Winston held positions as studio manager, event planner and production coordinator from August 3, 2013 to February 29, 2016. He claims Burruss failed to pay him wages for time spent working in the recording studio, planning events, running errands, preparing meals for events, performing handyman and housekeeping duties, attending meetings, and more.
But the Real Housewives of Atlanta star is not taking Winston‘s allegations lying down — she’s filed a lawsuit of her own — which accuses Johnnie Winston of defamation.
In this day and age, with phone records, endless email chains, and people who save three gigs worth of text messages, if you’re going to say something slanderous about a celebrity, it better be true.
The Grammy songwriter asserts that Johnnie “intentionally malign Defendants’ reputation” in addition to “harm their reputation and public persona through false and malicious accusations.” And created a “false story line to stay relevant on the nationally and internationally broadcast cable television show, The Real Housewives of Atlanta.”
According to Kandi, Winston — who owns a catering service — had no issues with compensation prior to filming season 9 of the hit Bravo reality television show.
“Mr. Winston’s statement were not only slanderous, defamatory and calculated to injure Defendants’ public persona and professional brand, but were also in breach of the Confidentiality and Non-Disclosure Agreement signed by Mr. Winston,” the filing continues.
Johnnie helped organize Kandi‘s over-the-top televised wedding and appeared on the reality show in August 2016. Between February 2016 and August 2016, no request for additional pay was made on Winston’s behalf.
Kandi was only made aware that her former employee had an issue with his pay six months after their business relationship ended — while filming of RHOA.
During an episode — Kandi claims she fired Winston because he “kept dropping the ball,” but she continued to hire his company for events. He became upset because she let him go without having a “closer conversation.”
Later in the episode — Winston met with Kandi‘s co-star and enemy, Phaedra Parks, to discuss possibly suing her.
He’s also claiming that he came up with an idea to open Burruss‘ Old Lady Gang restaurant — but Kandi moved forward with idea (with her husband Todd) and cut Johnnie out of the deal.
“This isn’t the first time that an idea has been ripped off,” he said on the episode. “Just like the play ‘A Mother’s Love.’ I came up with the whole concept of the play and they ran with it.”
In addition, Johnnie is also taking credit for Kandi’s play, “A Mother’s Love.” Johnnie says it was his idea and he thought she should take it on the road. Kandi has maintained it was her idea — based on her life story.
Burruss claims his comments are false and/or had a reckless disregard for their falsity.
Burruss alleges she “suffered, and are suffering damages, including humiliation, ridicule, hatred, contempt, injury or impairment to their reputation and/or standing in the community and/or embarrassment, which damages will continue to be suffered now and in the future.”
Surprisingly, Johnnie signed an NDA with Burruss‘ company in 2012 and his comments are a direct violation of their nondisclosure agreement.
Burruss wants a jury trial and damages.