The Truth About Windy City Rehab's Donovan Eckhardt
Lifestyle - News
By JESSICA TZIKAS
In 2019, Alison Victoria and lead contractor Donovan Eckhardt debuted on HGTV's "Windy City Rehab," which became an instant sensation with home renovation aficionados. However, immediately after the first season finished, the show was surrounded with drama as lawsuits for bad contracting work emerged.
Clients from prior episodes were suing the team for substandard work, with one claiming that their upstairs bathroom spilled into their kitchen a few days after closing. Victoria blamed Eckhardt for the errors, as viewers witnessed at the beginning of the second season, and by mid-season, Eckhardt had left the show and launched his own lawsuit.
While ‌Victoria and Eckhardt are no longer friends or business partners, Victoria is not named in the defamation claim. Rather, the lawsuit is directed at Discovery Inc. and Big Table Media, alleging that the companies purposefully altered the series to portray Eckhardt as a villain.
The defamation case was filed in January 2021 for $2.2 million. Besides being presented as the show's villain, Eckhardt claims to have suffered emotional trauma because of the lawsuits, ranging from anxiety to loss of sleep and appetite.