HGTV Star Chelsea DeBoer's Legal And Financial Issues, Explained

Mo money, mo problems? Fans were first introduced to Chelsea Houska DeBoer way back in 2010 when she starred in Season 2 of MTV's "16 & Pregnant." In 2011, she made the jump to "Teen Mom 2" and documented her life as a single teenage mother to her daughter Aubree, whom she shares with her ex, Adam Lind. By 2016, The Ashley's Reality Roundup reported that Chelsea was raking in a staggering $250,000 per season. Since then, it appears things have only gotten better for the reality star. In October 2016, she wed Cole DeBoer, and they went on to welcome three children together. Then, in February 2022, they landed their very own HGTV show, "Down Home Fab."

Alas, in April 2020, the DeBoers ran into a bit of legal and financial trouble that threatened to upend their success entirely. It all started when Envy Branding, a consulting group, slapped Chelsea and Cole with a staggering $3 million lawsuit, citing that they were in breach of contract. According to court documents obtained by The Sun, Envy claimed that the couple hired the agency in 2015 to "negotiate appearance, endorsement, licensing, royalty and television agreements and related contracts." In return, the couple was to pay the company 35% and 40% of all domestic and foreign deals, respectively. Instead, Envy alleged that the DeBoers told "certain Brands to directly pay Houska, DeBoer, one of the other Shared Clients, and/or other persons or entities to avoid paying Envy Licensing Fees." YIKES.

Chelsea DeBoer countersued

In May 2020, Chelsea Houska DeBoer and Cole DeBoer responded to Envy's lawsuit, vehemently denying that they owed the agency any money. But that's not all. They promptly filed a counterclaim alleging that Envy was actually the one guilty of withholding payments — and to the tune of $150,000. According to those legal docs obtained by The Sun, the DeBoers alleged that the consulting group "intentionally omitted numerous deals and/or revenues from the Account Statements for the sole purpose of depriving Chelsea, Cole, and TWGG from receiving funds rightfully due and owing to them."

While Chelsea and Cole remained tight-lipped about the legal dispute, a spokesperson for the DeBoers told The Ashleys Reality Roundup in 2021 that the suit was "nothing more than a frivolous lawsuit by a disgruntled ex associate [of Chelsea and Cole's] who was terminated for breach of contract. They added, "Our client looks forward to their day in court when the truth will come out." 

Alas, things seemingly went from bad to worse for Chelsea and Cole in 2022 when Envy Branding upped the ante, amending the lawsuit to include businesses owned by DeBoers — Down Home DeBoer, Aubree Says, Dakota Ln LLC, and DeBoer Holding Company — as defendants and claimed that the amount owed was actually $4 million. 

Chelsea DeBoer's lawsuit against her was eventually dismissed

In the end, Chelsea Houska DeBoer and her hubby Cole DeBoer emerged victorious from the long, arduous legal battle. According to a February 29 court filing obtained by The Ashleys Reality Roundup, the judge presiding over the case sided with the DeBoers citing that they "did not breach their [contracts]." On April 22, 2024 Envy's lawsuit was dismissed and without prejudice. That's fancy legalese for Envy can't come back and sue them again. In turn, the DeBoers voluntarily dropped their countersuit against Envy as well.

Still, it appears the Chelsea and Cole spent little time relishing their legal victory. Season 2 of Chelsea's new HGTV show "Down Home Fab" premiered on March 21, 2024, and to stellar ratings, no less. As reported by The Ashleys Reality Roundup, the season's inaugural episode garnered a whopping 569,000 viewers. Then, on May 20, Variety reported that the couple had signed with CAA, a top talent and sports agency based in Los Angeles. No doubt all of the legal and financial troubles are swiftly in Chelsea's rearview.