The newly divorced Jim Bellino is suing Tamra Judge and Shannon Beador to the tune of $1 million.
He clames that they deiiberately and maliciously spread lies about him in a diabolical plot to ruin his reputation and his business.
Now, he's insisting that Tamra surrender her text messages to the court, which he says will expose this alleged scheme.
According to new court documents that The Blast obtained this week, Jim Bellino believes that he can prove malicious forethought.
How? Because Tamra and Shannon's interview that launched this whole thing featured a visual aid.
"The premeditated nature of the Defendants vicious personal attack is reflected in the visual backdrop of the videotaped interview," his attorneys argue.
The backdrop is one "which consists of a photo of Mr. Bellino and his ex-wife Alexis Bellino edited into two pieces, with a rip between them."
The suggestion here is that Tamra and Shannon had planned in advance to roast him, and that the edited photo is proof of that.
More to the point, Jim's team argues that Tamra's body language betrays her allegedly sinister intent.
Tamra, his attorneys note, "grins and pumps her shoulders" when the Bellino divorce comes up.
They write in court documents that she is "unable to contain her excitement and eagerness to tear into Mr. Bellino and his reputation."
That sounds like a bit of a stretch.
Being excited to discuss a topic isn't the same thing as being eager to defame someone.
It's hard for attorneys to claim to know exactly what someone was thinking.
Speculation about Tamra's intentions will be moot, however, if her text messaging history contains what Jim thinks that it contains.
In court documents, Jim's team demands that Tamra surrender her text messaging history.
It is their belief that this will yield "substantial direct or circumstantial evidence" of malicious forethought.
So, in other words, he believes that Tamra and Shannon plotted to ruin his good name, and that they texted about it beforehand.
That is quite a claim. And text messages are very personal.
This whole thing got started this summer when Tamra and Shannon sat down to talk about the Bellino divorce.
Alexis Bellino was, of course, their co-star. For a time, she was even friends with Tamra.
Shannon and Tamra discussed -- we'll be a little careful when we talk about this, but one might say that they gossiped -- about Jim's business.
At one point, they discussed the allegation that someone had been seriously injured at one of his trampoline parks.
It is normal to discuss things that you have heard. But when you're a public figure, your words carry more weight.
Did Tamra and Shannon really conspire to drag Jim's name through the mud and destroy his business? That ... could be hard to prove.
Even if it's true, it's not clear if he'll be awarded the $1 million that he is seeking.
Tamra's attorneys have already hit back at some of Jim's claims, saying that her characterization that Jim Bellino is "shady' is demonstrably true.
Her team mentions that Jim agreed to a deal with the FBI over counterfeit sports memorabilia.sales.
They also note that he's been sued for fraud, deceit, wrongful foreclosure, and breach of written contract over his company's activities.
In other words, she stands by her assertion that he is a "shady motherf--ker" and says that it's not slander because it's true.
The lawsuit has another hearing schedules in December.
If Tamra really does have to turn over her text messages, well, that will be unpleasant. Text messages are very private.
If these were medical records, they mgiht be turned over to a Special Master for review so that only the relevant materials, if any, would be entered into evidence.
We're no legal experts, but text messages probably won't get the same sacrosanct treatment.
So even if there's no merit to Jim's claims, Tamra might not want to air her personal business, especially when celebrity court documents have a habit of leaking.
This whole lawsuit is a messy affair.