On Monday, Lewis shared a picture of himself on Instagram in which he’s standing in front of a white board bearing his image and decorated with phrases like “Your 15 minutes are up,” and “Better luck with radio.” The photo, which Lewis later admitted he doctored himself, was a dig at Bravo, which he says did not renew his contract with the network before it expired on Oct. 15, making the future of his show uncertain.
According to Lewis, Cohen didn’t appreciate the social media post, which he says, he meant to be a joke.
“As you know, Andy Cohen has been known to lose his temper with me,” Lewis said on his SiriusXM radio show Jeff Lewis Live, which is part of Cohen’s channel RadioAndy, on Tuesday. “After 11 years, we’ve been very much of a sibling type of a relationship.
He continued by presenting alleged evidence of their sometimes-contentious bond. “I normally would never read his texts on air — but the reason I would read this is that he has changed his strategy with me,” Lewis says. “Yesterday, I think when it happened, he thought, ‘I’m not getting through to him by screaming at him. I’m not getting through to him by writing nasty, threatening texts. I’m going to try a different strategy.'”
Lewis then went on to read their alleged text message exchange, which began with Cohen allegedly asking Lewis what he hoped to achieve by posting the photo, to which Lewis responded. “It’s a joke. Didn’t mean anything by it.”
“Would it be funny to Bravo?” Cohen allegedly asked.
“I hope so,” Lewis responded, before Cohen allegedly added, “I highly doubt it.”
“I wasn’t going after them in any way,” Lewis wrote to Cohen. “Just making fun of the situation.”
“Uh huh,” Cohen allegedly wrote back. “Looks to me like you’re vilifying the network. They usually pick up shows after they finish their season. But maybe you want to let competitors know you are open for business, which you are definitely doing.”
Lewis went on to claim that he was not, in fact “vilifying the network” but instead, “letting competitors know I’m a free agent” and even teased leaving Bravo for another network.
“You’re a very smart guy,” Lewis continued. “I’ll be at WE in no time. I really do like everybody at Bravo. It’s not personal.”
Cohen wasn’t buying it, and allegedly asked Lewis rhetorically if he didn’t have an agent who could let competitors know he might be on the market for a new job. “You’re just pissing everyone there off again and making them think Bravo is cancelling the show, which doesn’t make them look good,” Cohen allegedly wrote. “If you’re doing it to work somewhere else, I get it.”
But Lewis maintains that he would want to stay with the network if the opportunity presented itself.
“I’m always open to working with and for Bravo,” Lewis said. “There is no ill will from me.”
Lewis also clarified on the radio show that Flipping Out has not officially been cancelled. He noted that often, the network will wait until they collect the ratings to make a decision about renewal.
Reps for Bravo confirmed to PEOPLE that “nothing official has been determined” regarding Flipping Out. They had no comment on the status of Lewis’ contract, and did not return a request for comment from Cohen.
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Later in the show, Lewis claims he received another text from Cohen allegedly telling him off for reading their messages aloud.
“I thought he looked like a smart, rational guy when he was giving that advice,” Lewis said of their earlier exchange, but then continued to read their conversation on air. “He just said, ‘You’re an a—hole.’ He said, ‘Don’t ever read my texts on air again. You’re an a—hole.'”
“I think we’re back to the old strategy!” Lewis added. “God, he’s funny.”
While he’s still waiting to learn the fate of the series, now in it’s 11th season, and whether he has a future with the network, Lewis did admit that he understands the timing hasn’t been great.
In recent months, the Bravo star has been surrounded by controversy. In June, the surrogate who carried his and Edward’s now nearly two-year-old daughter Monroe, filed a lawsuit against him, Edward, Bravo, and Flipping Out’s production company, Authentic Entertainment, for allegedly filming her giving birth without her permission, among other issues.
In September, PEOPLE exclusively reported that Lewis had parted ways with his friend of nearly 20 years and co-star Jenni Pulos following an explosive fight that he says was caught on film and will be air during the show’s current season. Lewis claims Pulos reported him to Bravo for “abuse and victimization” and later for wrongful termination.
Flipping Out airs Tuesdays (10 p.m. ET) on Bravo. Jeff Lewis Live airs Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays (11 a.m. ET) on SiriusXM’s Radio Andy (Ch. 102).