Jeff Lewis claimed on his Sept. 7 Sirius XM podcast that Jenni had “not worked for him in years,” and that their professional relationship was nothing but Bravo smoke and mirrors. Jeff, 48, also alleged that Jenni filed claims of wrongful termination, abuse and victimization, and even crossed out her face with a big red X, posting the image on social media.
“I had no idea it was coming,” Jenni tells People. “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.”
Tensions exploded over a lunch filmed for the reality design series last May, the blowout slated to be featured on a future episode.
“It was puzzling to me. He said he wanted me to go and do my thing,” Jenni revealed. “We see things very differently. I believed I had been an asset to his business and he believed differently, I imagine.”
Jenni, 45, added that Jeff proposed a future supporting “friend” role — an idea she shot down.
“I was not going to fake a friendship,” Jenni remarked.
“After the final disagreement, I decided I was not going to continue a friendship with someone who thought of me the way he did,” Jenni, a current Flipping Out executive producer, explained.
Jeff revealed on his radio show that his contract had not been renewed, but later clarified that a cancellation had not been confirmed.
Jenni Pulos contradicted Jeff’s public statements, and admitted that she was shocked by his explanation.
“Citing wrongful termination claim, wrong. Citing abuse claim, wrong. Citing victimization claim, wrong.” Jenni said.
“it was very real,” she said, denying a fake Jeff Lewis Design connection. “I was his employee and I worked for him. It was very authentic, and that’s important.”
She added that she has chosen to refrain from amping the drama.
“My engaging would not have been the right move,” Jenni explained. “What good is that going to do? All I know is my own truth.”
“I’ve always wished him the best, and will continue to wish him the best,” Jenni said, when asked to share her thoughts about Jeff. “He’s a wonderful designer and has so many talents. I learned a lot and I’m proud of what we built.”
On Thursday, Jeff Lewis responded to Jenni on his Sirius XM radio show, Jeff Lewis Live!. He accused his former friend of lying about the circumstances surrounding her departure from his company in May.
“It’s semantics at this point,” Lewis said of whether or not Lewis actually reported him to network higher-ups. “She mentioned in the article 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.”
Jeff Lewis maintains that a Bravo executive did have dinner with him and separately with Jenni, and that “my show-runner 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.”
He added, “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.”
Press play below to hear Jeff Lewis’ full commentary on Jenni from Thursday’s Sirius XM radio broadcast.
Watch the drama unfold onFlipping Out, Tuesday nights, on Bravo.