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When your assistant decides to write a book that might possibly paint you as a difficult boss, do you:
1) Sue the assistant for not living up to the confidentiality provisions of a contract, thus proving the point that you’re the type of sensitive boss who would flip out at something like this, and thus potentially giving your assistant’s book some free publicity; or
2) Wait until the book comes out to see what it actually says.
Jeff Lewis, star of the Bravo reality TV series Flipping Out, chooses option No. 1.
In a lawsuit filed in L.A. Superior Court on Wednesday, he’s suing assistant and Flipping Out co-star Jenni Pulos over her forthcoming book.
Lewis is a home interior decorator who doubles as a real estate speculator. Pulos has been his long-time executive assistant.
According to the complaint, Lewis became aware last October that Pulos was writing a book about her life. At the time, he says he reminded her of a 2008 non-disclosure agreement she signed.
Pulos purportedly told him that the book was about her own family and her own personal life, not her work life, but Lewis says he found out the planned title was Hang in There, Baby — What One of the World’s Most Difficult Bosses Taught Me About Life, Work and Love.
Lewis then demanded she cease and desist from publishing the book and gave her another copy of the NDA.
In response, Pulos allegedly said then the book hadn’t yet been written.
Now, the book is listed for pre-sale on Amazon without the One of the World’s Most Difficult Bosses subtitle. Additionally, on her website, the book is described as an inspirational one. “I have advice for surviving any difficult situation, no matter if it is in the workplace, in relationships, or in life, I have learned how to fail my way forward and bloom where your planted and you can too!”
Still unable to get an advance copy, Lewis is taking her to court, alleging she has failed to perform the conditions of her contract and asking a judge for declaratory relief in the form of an order that prevents her from writing or publishing a book that exposes private, proprietary or confidential information.
E-mail: email@example.com; Twitter: @eriqgardner
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