The drama started on the last season of Real Housewives Of Atlanta has been coming back to haunt Kandi Burruss in the real world. She has been in the middle of a lawsuit from her former assistant Johnnie Winston III, who accused Kandi (with the help of the ever honorable Phaedra Parks) of owing him thousands in unpaid overtime.
Since that mess appeared before the eyes of millions of judging viewers, Kandi asked the judge if she could file a counter suit accusing Johnnie of defamation of character for disparaging her business and reputation.
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In evidence presented to the judge to support her suit, Kandi claimed “statements that Plaintiff made on two episodes of Real Housewives of Atlanta, which aired on January 8, 2017 and March 27, 2017, about Defendants stealing his ideas for a restaurant and a play” were damaging to her reputation and brand.
Kandi previously requested that Johnnie’s suit against her be tossed out of court, claiming that he was operating as an independent contractor under employ and therefore wasn’t liable for over-time wages. She then amended that stance and decided seek a counter suit instead.
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The Jasmine Brand reports that Kandi convinced the judge that Johnnie did make “slanderous, defamatory, and calculated” statements which could “injure her public persona and professional brand” and were also in violation of the Non-Disclosure Agreement he singed following his termination.
Kandi claimed she only learned Johnnie was dissatisfied with his wages in August 2016 while RHOA was filming, months after he was fired. She argued that he maliciously sought to slander her publicly.
As a result of Johnnie’s actions, Kandi believes she’s suffered “humiliation, ridicule, hatred, contempt, injury, and impairment to her reputation along with embarrassment.”
The judge agreed that Kandi made a valid case, and signed off on the counter suit. She is seeking undisclosed damages as a result.
Of course, Johnnie is fighting back. He argues that because Kandi fired him on RHOA and accused him of shoddy work, therefore, she has done equal damage to his business reputation. His attorneys dismiss her counter suit as retaliatory and are request the court not allow it. Johnnie also defends meeting with Phaedra as simply an attempt to seek appropriate legal advice and denies that Kandi has sufficient proof that his actions or statements defamed her and caused her reputation to suffer unduly.
Well, this is getting interesting!
TELL US – DO YOU THINK KANDI HAS GROUNDS FOR COUNTER SUIT? OR DOES SHE OWE JOHNNIE MONEY?
[Photo Credit: Bravo]