TLC Stars Who Sued Their Costars

Correction 7/31/23: An earlier version of this article misstated that "Dance Moms" was a TLC show. "Dance Moms" was a Lifetime show.

TLC is known for its eclectic entertainment material and gains most of its notoriety from creating television shows based on unconventional or downright controversial subjects. The network presents a comprehensive portrayal of the reality television genre and tends to focus on shows which depict people's relationships with their health, non-traditional romance, unique families, alternative lifestyles, and atypical interests. 

The network maintains its audience's attention by sharing stories of people living outside the bounds of societal norms, but they don't always paint a happy picture or preach a message of understanding and acceptance. The struggles of a non-normal life are often depicted on screen as stars brandish their hardships to the camera and production crews. It is the ever-present conflict that keeps viewers coming back for more. 

Since drama keeps eyes on the screen, TLC often chooses stars and cast members with large or imposing personalities that spark intrigue, sympathy, anger, or admiration in their viewers. However, the presence of such characters also means that the potential for eruptions of temper tantrums and tears is nearly constant. Throughout the network's history, these stars have faced off in mental, emotional, and physical battles that take place on and off camera and sometimes get dragged into the world of litigation. Here are some examples of times when TLC celebs took it a step too far and were sued by their costars. 

Danielle Mullins sued Mohamed Jbali for fraud

Former "90 Day Fiance" stars Danielle Mullins and Mohamed Jabali's turbulent and widely televised relationship drew to a dramatic close as Mullins took legal action against her ex-husband to reclaim the $12,500 she had lost as a result of his fraudulent acts toward her regarding her monetary support of Jbali's immigration proceedings, his living expenses, and his failure to disperse Mullins' share of their earnings from their time on "90 Day Fiance." In their article explaining the lawsuit, Radar cites lines from Mullins' court papers that state, "Defendant committed fraud against Plaintiff by luring Plaintiff into a romantic relationship to secure funds and immigration status. As a result of Defendant's fraudulent actions, Plaintiff has been economically harmed in the amount of approximately $10,000."

The additional $2,500 demanded in the suit was Mullins' share of the check the couple received from TLC for their participation on the show. According to the court documents referenced by Radar, "Defendant failed to make payment to Plaintiff for her portion of said payment. Defendant has been unjustly enriched by retaining those funds. Defendant has converted those funds for his personal use."

Kate Gosselin sued Jon Gosselin for hacking

Longtime fans of TLC may remember the lighthearted beginnings of "Jon and Kate Plus 8," which followed the then-married couple, Jon and Kate Gosselin, as they tackled the challenges of parenting their eight young children, which included a set of twins and sextuplets. After the show's premiere in 2007, the Gosselin parents' relationship quickly went south and ultimately ended with a less-than-amicable divorce in 2009 over parenting disagreements and Jon's alleged infidelity. Since then, the former couple have not been on good terms with one another.

An article for The Wrap explains that in 2013, Kate Gosselin accused her ex-husband of hacking into her email, cell phone, and bank account to access private information, which he then gave to his friend, Robert Hoffman — a tabloid writer. With the information procured by Jon Gosselin, Hoffman wrote and published a book entitled, "Kate Gosselin: How She Fooled the World," which included what was deemed by Kate Gosselin's lawyer to contain "salacious, scandalous, and defamatory information about Kate," according to The Hollywood Reporter's recounting of the lawsuit. The same article states that Hoffman's controversial book was removed from the market for containing illegally obtained information.

After the brief publication of the book in 2012, Kate sued her ex-husband and Hoffman in 2013 for an undisclosed amount on the grounds of hacking and identity theft.

Molly Hopkins sued Cynthia Decker over their business

"90 Day Fiance" star Molly Hopkins and her former friend, Cynthia Decker, came to legal blows over allegations that Decker had created a business that directly competes with the lingerie company, LiviaRae, that she and Hopkins started together in 2006. Hopkins' goal for the lawsuit was to prove that Decker was still a member of their business and was still bound by the confines of their non-compete and operating agreement. However, in an article published by InTouch, Decker claims that though she had "worked very hard building LiviRae," she is no longer a part of the business operations and has distanced herself from the company. She even states, "We had a verbal agreement with a witness on video of Molly agreeing that I would not come back into the store for reasons she knows."

Despite evidence of their agreement that Decker would no longer be a part of LiviaRae, Hopkins took action via a cease and desist letter after alleging that Decker had obtained LiviaRae client information and was still maliciously contacting current employees of the company. Hopkins stated that after Decker received the cease and desist, she continued to post defamatory content about her on social media. Hopkins is suing Decker for an unknown amount that includes "damages, attorney fees, and any further relief the court deems proper in the lawsuit," according to InTouch.

Anna Caldwell sued June Shannon for withholding profits from Here Comes Honey Boo Boo

With families (and their drama) serving as the main subjects of many TLC shows, it is unsurprising that conflict surrounding the disbursement of money from the network among family members occasionally pops up.

Anna "Chickadee" Caldwell sued her mother, June Shannon, for withholding payment for her participation on the show, "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo," which ran from 2012 to 2014 and was ultimately canceled due to Shannon's relationship with a person who had been convicted of child molestation. Caldwell claimed that Shannon withheld $200,000 of her earnings from the show, as well as $100,000, which belonged to Caldwell's daughter, Kaitlyn.

Court documents obtained by ET and described in their article detailing the lawsuit state, "Unfortunately, despite contractual requirements to do so, none of the Defendants have provided Anna and Kaitlyn with the full compensation and consideration they were contractually promised for their participation in 'Here Comes Honey Boo Boo.'" According to an article by People, Shannon denied the accusation of withholding her daughter's money and claimed that TLC deposited the funds directly into Caldwell's account, and she "never saw a cent" of it.

If you or someone you know may be the victim of child abuse, please contact the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child (1-800-422-4453) or contact their live chat services.