The former couple were together for 10 years and share two-year-old daughter Monroe
Jeff Lewis says his ex partner Gage Edward is threatening to hire a lawyer as their split grows more contentious.
During Thursday’s episode of Lewis’s SiriusXM radio show, Jeff Lewis Live, the Flipping Out star said that Edward, from whom he separated in January and officially split last month, told him he was considering seeking legal council if Lewis did not change his ways.
“Yesterday we had a very enlightening heart to heart about how this could go, and I did not like how this could go,” Lewis said on his show. “It was very eye-opening to me. It was very much of a wake-up call.”
Recalling a recent heated conversation with his ex, Lewis claims that Edward told him, “If you continue down this destructive path, if you continue coming at me, you’re going to force me to hire an attorney. You’re going to force my hand.”
Edward did not immediately reply to PEOPLE’s request for comment.
In the past, Lewis expressed that he, too, toyed with the idea of hiring a lawyer while he and Edward were still together, and told Access Hollywood Live he consulted an attorney when he was considering proposing to Edward.
“I just found out — my attorney said that [Gage] is now eligible for palimony because it’s been seven-and-a-half years,” Lewis said during the interview. “I’m on the hook anyway, I might as well get married.”
Although the pair never got around to tying the knot, during an episode of Flipping Out from 2017, Lewis admitted that he had already planned his divorce.
“I don’t know anybody that gets along 100 percent of the time. But I’ve planned my divorce like hundreds of times in my head. I mean, I go real specific, like I’m gonna live here and he’s gonna live here, I’m gonna see the baby here and he’s gonna see the baby here,” Lewis confessed in the episode. “I mean, I work it all out in my head.”
The Bravo star went on to explain that he imagined Edward also thought about splitting from him “often.”
If their split did escalate to a legal battle, it wouldn’t be the former couple’s first encounter with threats of taking a personal issue to court.
Currently, the exes are facing an ongoing lawsuit filed by their surrogate, Alexandra Trent, who carried their two-year-old daughter Monroe. Trent is suing the couple as well as Bravo and the Flipping Out’s production company, Authentic Entertainment, claiming that the show filmed her delivery without permission and that Edward and Lewis made “disgusting” remarks about her. She is seeking damages for unlawful recording, invasion of privacy and fraud. Lewis has strongly refuted these claims, but the legal action is ongoing and will likely go to trial.
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On Thursday, the Bravo star said that his the conversation surrounding Edward’s threat to hire a lawyer made him weary because he saw his future looking “very similar” to fellow Bravo reality star Bethenny Frankel and Jason Hoppy’s custody battle over their 8-year-old daughter Bryn, in which the Real Housewives of New York cast member has alleged she feared for her safety while sharing an apartment with Hoppy after they had separated — and even alleged in court she had a padlock installed on her bedroom door for protection. (Hoppy’s lawyer had no comment when asked about the lock by PEOPLE.)
“I woke up this morning and I just said, ‘I don’t want this at all,'” Lewis continued on the radio show. “I didn’t want any of this. I didn’t want the breakup. I didn’t want him to leave the business. I didn’t want joint custody.” (Lewis confirmed that he and Edward are still working together at his company Jeff Lewis Design, but said they have discussed Edward pursuing other business ventures within the next 3 to 4 months.)
The pair’s alleged conversation, as recounted by Lewis, comes on the heels of a texting argument, in which Lewis claims he accidentally sent Edward a critical message about Edward’s “home-wrecker boyfriend,” a man who Lewis has previously claimed his ex met at the gym and went on a date with just one week after they separated.
Lewis claims that during that argument, Edward accused him of “harassment” and making “malicious comments” that continue “to show you have a full intent to destroy my character.” Lewis also alleges that Edward criticized his parenting, texting him a message that read: “‘We need to step it up as dads and I know you realize this.”
The perceived insult led Lewis into a profanity-laced tirade via text message, which he read on the air.
“F— you, you motherf—er. You’re projecting your guilt on to me,” Lewis says he wrote to Edward. “You left your family. And now I’m here raising this child aside from the f—g ten hours a week you spend with her. I am 100 percent raising this child.”
“I am also working my a— off to completely pay every single expense associated with Monroe,” Lewis continued. “So while I work my a— off, you’re paying $5,000 a month for your sexy bachelor pad — one bedroom, by the way — in your full-service building with valet, doorman, rooftop pool and bar. And then you’re also taking your home-wrecking trick to $400 dinners at Mastro’s, while I’m paying for diapers, water wipes, baby lotion, groceries, dance classes, nannies… so you know what? I disagree. I think I step it up as a dad. So f— off.”
On Thursday, Lewis said he realized that was a “misstep.”
“I did go off and I was very disrespectful to Gage and I felt very bad about it,” Lewis said on Thursday. “I did call him and apologize. I was in one of those places where I was scared and in pain and hurt. I lashed out. So much s— is said about me and I don’t care, but when you start to say anything about my child or you criticize me as a father — even if you don’t mean it — I immediately get so defensive and emotional.
“I attacked and I shouldn’t have done that. I can feel bad about it,” he continued. “It’s not something I’m proud of, nor do I want to continue in the future.”
“I want this to be healthy, I want this to be functional — I don’t want this to be destructive,” he said.
Previously, Lewis said he tried to “build a wall” between himself and Edward, and asked his ex to begin working from his own apartment or from their job sites (the houses they are renovating) as opposed to Lewis’s home. He also proposed they schedule times for each of them to be with Monroe.
“I don’t want to be your friend,” Lewis recalls he told Edward in that February episode of his radio show. “I don’t want to hang out with you. I don’t want to pretend like we’re some happy family anymore and go to breakfast or frozen yogurt together. I want to spend time with Monroe independent of you.”
On Thursday, Lewis seemingly walked back some of those boundaries.
“I’m going to push past my pain for [Monroe]. You have access to her whenever you want. If you want to stay and put her down, that’s fine,” Lewis said on his show, addressing Edward. “I’ll deal with that.”
“What was happening is, I would see him sitting there laying next to her on the floor — on her pillow — and it was making me sad,” Lewis continued. “It was reminding me of the family that I had. It was a lot . . . it just reminded [me] of what we once had. It’s hard.”
However, Lewis, who previously vowed never to use Monroe as a bargaining chip in their break up, said that it’s better for her if Edward is a part of her life.
“I’m really trying to make it about my child,” he said. “She loves him. He is a good dad. And it makes her happy to see him. And I realize it makes her happy to see us both together and united.”
Jeff Lewis Live airs Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays (11 a.m. ET) on SiriusXM’s Radio Andy (Ch. 102.)