- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 15, 2011

NEW YORK (AP) - Reality TV home designer Jeff Lewis will have fewer employees to flip out over this season.

The admitted obsessive-compulsive star of Bravo’s “Flipping Out” says two employees get fired from his Jeff Lewis Designs in season five, which premieres July 6 at 9 p.m. Eastern. He won’t say who but in a recent interview with The Associated Press he said one firing is expected. He calls the other “totally unexpected.”

Lewis, who once flipped houses, says actions that led to that dismissal “still kind of cuts and hurts.” He says the lesson he learned was that “it’s a dog-eat-dog world and there are people that have no trouble stepping on you to get where they need to go.”

Among the employees on the show are Lewis’ executive assistant Jenni Pulos, housekeeper Zoila Chavez, house assistant Jett Pink and design associates Sara Berkman and Trace Lenhoff.

While losing a few employees, the show is gaining a new member _ Lewis’ boyfriend Gage Edwards.

Lewis says he was hesitant to bring his personal life into the show. He believes the show led to a previous breakup and his relationship with his ex-boyfriend and business partner imploded on-screen two seasons ago after Lewis accused him of stealing his clients. He says because Edwards is now “very involved” in the business, it became impossible to shoot around him. “It was like the show either dies … or continue with Gage” on the show, Lewis says.

Known for sarcastic remarks and fiery temper, Lewis gets a taste of his own medicine in season five. He says the season also will feature the “craziest, most difficult client” of his career. He says she was so outrageous Bravo called him to make sure she wasn’t acting. “I wouldn’t be surprised if she gets a show out of this,” he adds.

Another tidbit that Lewis shares is that he finally learned where Pulos lives. Pulos has long refused to give him the address saying she was afraid he’d invade her privacy. Lewis says he followed his executive assistant home from the airport, which Pulos described as “creepy.”

Half joking, Lewis tells Pulos the look on her face was “priceless” when she saw him. He says, “I can drop by whenever I want,” prompting Pulos to quip: “Time to move on and I’ve put in my notice.”

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