In the intro to HGTV’s hit show “Windy City Rehab,” flipper Alison Victoria explains how closely she works with general contractor Donovan Eckhardt, who owns Greymark Development Group in Chicago.
“Donovan is pretty much like my work husband,” says Victoria, whose real name is Alison Gramenos. “He has the anxiety. I have full blown anger — and it works.”
But amid a series of problems including angry neighbors and a crackdown by the city Buildings Department, their playful relationship appears to have been flipped on its head.
In a text included with a lawsuit filed by a Lincoln Square couple alleging shoddy workmanship and fraud, Victoria angrily writes, in discussing a check from one of Eckhardt’s accounts that bounced: “If I have to cover his portion I will. I do not want him to f--- with my life or business any more than he already has.”
The check was to help reimburse the buyers for a new roof they had installed after numerous leaks occurred after the sale closed.
That comes months after Victoria posted on Instagram that she was working with a new general contractor after Eckhardt’s license with the city was temporarily suspended.
Eckhardt did not respond to a request for comment, and Victoria declined to comment on the lawsuit containing the text exchange.
Until the public problems, the stars, who both live in Bucktown, appeared to be close both personally and professionally as they worked to buy and rehab homes in Chicago.
Records show Eckhardt and Victoria together have purchased several of the homes featured on the show through a company called Alovan, which is a combination of their two first names.
In what’s obvious to television consumers, reality TV doesn’t always reflect reality.
The episode featuring the home that’s now the subject of the lawsuit ends with a happy couple touring their new home with Victoria and Eckhardt.
But the redheaded wife and bearded husband are actors — not the real buyers.
The real buyers have a court date set for April 28.