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September 19, 2014

Ugly Betty versus Flipping Out...in court!

by Allison Waldman, posted Dec 13th 2008 12:06PM
Ashley JWhen you hear about this celebrity tussle, I think you'll feel like me: "I would love to be a fly on the wall to watch these two go at it!" It turns out that Bravo's reality star, Flipping Out's Jeff Lewis, is fighting with Ashley Jensen, who plays Christina on Ugly Betty.

Jeff, who specializes in buying properties then fixing them up and selling them -- flipping -- has a house under construction right next door to the home of Ashley and hubby Terence Beesley. If you've watched even one episode of Flipping Out, you know that Jeff has OCD and is extremely difficult to work for -- he fires workers at least twice a season -- and presses buttons like nobody's business.

This tussle falls under the pressing buttons category. Lewis had a deck built onto the house he was re-constructing, the one right next door to Ashley's, and went over the property line. Now, in Yonkers that would be a reason to get upset; in Hollywood, it's a good enough reason to go to war.

Instead of reaching for the guns, they're taking the dispute to court. Reportedly, Lewis offered $10,000 to Jensen and Beesley to make up for putting part of his deck in their backyard. They countered that the value of the property was ten times that amount -- $100,000. Can't you just imagine the smoke coming out of Jeff's ears when he heard about that? He's so rational on a good day, you know he was losing it -- flipping out -- over that response.

Which is why what happened next sounds true to me: supposedly Jeff appeared at her door, uninvited, and threatened to bad mouth Ashley in the new season of Flipping Out -- season three -- if she didn't back off. The most he would give for the encroachment onto her property was $30,000!

Ashley Jensen, a Scottish native, is nobody's fool. If she could deal with Ricky Gervais (Extras), she is not about to be intimidated by Mr. Jeff Lewis. She filed a lawsuit against him and his business parter Ryan Brown and requested a TRO. The court issued the temporary restraining order against Lewis. He has to stay 50 feet away from the actress and her home.

Snap! That's lead to Jeff issuing statements to the media: "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."

Oh really? Ashley Jensen needs Jeff Lewis for publicity? In what world, Mr. Lewis? Come on, she's a brilliant comic actress, with the credits and awards to prove it. She doesn't need you to get her name in the press. Also, who started this whole thing with the deck encroachment. Seriously, you may be the center of the universe on your reality show, but that's not reality at all. Just your demented version of it.

You know, come to think of it, maybe this isn't as unfortunate and unexpected as it seems. Jeff Lewis is meticulous about his flips. He could have known what was happening with the deck and just precipitated this encounter with Ashley Jensen. For drama on Flipping Out, it might have been just the conflict needed to keep viewers tuning in. Maybe Bravo's paying the legal bills. Hmm...what do you think?

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rick cokely

...and suddenly the fracture in the gay community became apparent. Just kidding. :D Anyway, for all you arm-chair lawyers out there, you CANNOT just destroy someone's property just because it is on your land. It's like if someone came and parked their car in your parking space you can't just go and torch it. You have to follow the correct procedures to have it removed, and that means calling the police or the tow company to have it removed. No wonder Judge Judy is going in it's 11th year, people have such strange ideas about what they can and cannot do.

December 15 2008 at 1:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Katie

Off-topic, but are you from Yonkers, Allison? I live not that far north of the town in the same county

December 14 2008 at 1:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Chester

considering you can just tear it down I'd say she's in on it as well

December 13 2008 at 9:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Tony

Lewis is going to come out the loser on this. What a lame publicity stunt.

Can't stand the guy.

December 13 2008 at 5:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
dredd

Maybe I'm confused... why doesn't she have the option of simply saying "get your goddamned deck off my yard at your own expense".

Why is it that the court has the right to tell her "you must sell it for $XXXX" whatever "XXXX" is? Does this mean if I covet some land I should just go "accidentally" build on it and thus force you to sell it to me? that's crazy-talk!

December 13 2008 at 2:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to dredd's comment
Creep

Would it be totally unreasonable and/or illegal to simply destroy whatever part of the deck that is on her property? A sledgehammer would do, or a controlled burn. It is her property after-all.

December 13 2008 at 4:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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