PEOPLE broke the news on Sept. 6 that Pulos and Lewis had ended their nearly 20-year personal and professional relationship after an explosive fight that will appear in the latest season.
Lewis confirmed the split and incident on his SiriusXM radio show, Jeff Lewis Live, the following day — revealing that Pulos had made claims of “abuse and victimization” and wrongful termination against him after they parted ways to Bravo, and the show’s production company, Authentic Entertainment (Pulos, Bravo and Authentic Entertainment have not commented).
Those claims, Lewis said on WWHL, make it hard for him to see a path back to their friendship. “I’m a very forgiving guy, and never say never, but when someone reports you for abuse to your bosses, it’s kind of something that’s hard to get over,” he said.
Still, Lewis feels nostalgic. “I’ve been watching the show and I already miss her, I will tell you that,” he said. “I already miss her. But when somebody crosses the line, it’s kind of hard to get over.”
Pal Shannon Beador, of Real Housewives of Orange County fame, was by Lewis’ side on WWHL. “I’ll make a prediction: I give it a couple years,” she told Lewis. “I think it’s going to take a couple years. Because you’re like me, it takes time to process.”
While previously talking about Pulos’ claims on Jeff Lewis Live, he said that the situation convinced him Flipping Out will be canceled.
“Her making this claim, it put my entire career in jeopardy. My family, my livelihood, everything,” Lewis said. “I just lost my job. I’m pretty sure of that. … I’m pretty sure they’re not going to keep picking up Flipping Out if she’s not on the show. And she’s not on the show.”
According to Lewis, their fight started with an argument that was captured on camera. In the wake of the disagreement, Lewis decided it was best Pulos stop “working” at his design and house-flipping firm, Jeff Lewis Design — an arrangement he said they were faking for the cameras for years, with Pulos actually employed by Bravo.
“I did it because I thought it really was the best for both of us,” he said, recounting a meeting they allegedly had where they discussed Pulos still appearing on Flipping Out as a friend. “All of this was very civil, I thought. … This fight, I never thought in a million years that would ever break us up.”
But it did. Prior to their meeting, Pulos had apparently made an initial set of complaints to Bravo Authentic Entertainment. And though Lewis claimed that he was cleared after a lengthy investigation, he alleged that Pulos “doubled down” recently and reported him for “wrongfully terminating her off her own show” as well as making “allegations of a hostile working environment.”
“I would never do that to a friend of 15, 16 years,” Lewis said on Jeff Lewis Live. “I would never put someone – I love her family, I love her kids, she’s a godmother to my child, I would never do that to her.”
Flipping Out premiered on Bravo in July 2007, and kicked off its eleventh season on Sept. 11. Both Lewis and Pulos are executive producers.
According to multiple sources, Pulos and Lewis haven’t spoken in months. “It’s sad,” one source said. “They used to be inseparable but their differences just got too big to overcome.”
“They found fame together so there was always this thought that nothing could tear them apart, but that hasn’t been the case,” the source added. “They’ll never come back from this. It’s over.”