*An Atlanta judge has approved “Real Housewives of Atlanta” star Kandi Burruss’ countersuit for breach of contract and defamation against former employee Johnnie Winston III.
Winston sued the singer for not paying him thousands of dollars in overtime. He was seen in an episode of “RHOA” seeking legal advice from co-star Phaedra Parks.
Burruss initially requested that Winston’s lawsuit be tossed, claiming that he was operating as an independent contractor and therefore wasn’t liable for overtime pay. Kandi then amended the filing and opted to seek a countersuit instead.
All About the Tea reports that Winston then tried to get Burruss’ countersuit dismissed, but the judge found her claims to have merit.
In court papers from the U.S. District Court for the Northern Division of Georgia, the 41-year-old reality star presented as proof statements Winston made on two episodes of “RHOA” (January 8, 2017 and March 27, 2017) regarding Kandi stealing his ideas for a restaurant and a play. She claims his statements were made “with actual malice” to harm Burruss and promote his celebrity status.
In addition to calling the allegations “false” and “malicious,” the Bravo star also claimed Winston breached a Non-Disclosure Agreement that he signed.
Additionally, Kandi alleged that between February 2016 and August 2016 Winston made no request for additional payment, and that she only learned of his dissatisfaction on a “RHOA” episode.
Burruss is seeking a jury trial and the dismissal of his action with prejudice.
Johnnie, meanwhile, has fired back against Kandi’s counterclaim.
He argues that because Kandi fired him on “RHOA” and accused him of sloppy work, she has done equal damage to his business reputation. His attorneys dismiss her countersuit as retaliatory and are requesting that the court throw it out.