Tim Norman, the “Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s” star who is caught in a lawsuit waged by his mom/partner/co-star Robbie Montgomery, says that outsiders are “manipulating” the matriarch restaurateur and he only wants to keep his family and business together.

The restaurant chain, which Montgomery opened in Dellwood, Missouri in 1996, has been the subject of a successful unscripted OWN Network show since 2011. It has followed the family, including Montgomery and Norman, as they have tried to expand their business. Through the development of Sweetie Pie’s, Norman is seen looking for and opening restaurants in and out of the St. Louis area.

“Miss Robbie,” as she is known on the show filed suit last week against Norman, claiming that restaurants that he has opened in St. Louis and Los Angeles are using the “Sweetie Pie’s” chain brand name without permission of the owner, Sweetie Pie’s Restaurant Inc.

However, Norman told the website TheYBF.com his side of the story:

“In this turn of events, unfortunately, outsiders appear to be misguiding and manipulating my mother to sell our family business,” said Norman. “It’s complicated, to say the least, as we have joint interest in various facets of the Sweetie Pies brand. I have to stay true to our brand and our business and I truly hope this disagreement can be settled between my mother and me.

“I have always, and will always, want what is best for my mother, our family, and our people,” Tim tells us.  “This is the risk of doing business with loved ones and I am hopeful for swift resolution.”

Norman also told TheYBF.com that the partners tried to work it out without litigating, but negotiations broke down. His attorney, Mary Ann L. Wymore Greensfelder told the website that the allegations against Norman were “meritless.”

“While we strongly encouraged Ms. Montgomery’s attorneys to work with us to attempt to resolve this family dispute pre-litigation, they refused to do so,” she said in a statement.

Montgomery is suing Norman for unspecified damages and is demanding a jury trial on the matter.

But Norman is holding out hope that the two will be able to resolve their differences and continue on as a family. Over the weekend he took to social media to express his feelings.