Former ‘Windy City Rehab’ host Donovan Eckhardt drops a zinger in feud with Alison Victoria

In an affidavit filed last week, Eckhardt tucked six seemingly pointed words inside a parenthesis.

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Alison Victoria and Donovan Eckhardt have a group meeting about their finances in Tuesday night’s episode of “Windy City Rehab.”

Alison Victoria and Donovan Eckhardt have a group meeting about their finances in an episode of “Windy City Rehab.”


For Donovan Eckhardt, the former host of “Windy City Rehab,” it appears to be a case of insult to injury.

First, the star of the show, Alison Victoria, labeled him an untrustworthy villain, an unreliable builder, and a cheat who pocketed construction funds — accusations that are false, according to a pending defamation lawsuit against the show’s producers.

And now she’s trying to cash in on a hot real estate market by selling her own extravagant Bucktown home for more than $2 million — that Eckhardt built.

Eckhardt, in an effort to convince a Cook County judge to scuttle an attempt by the show’s producers to have the case transferred to a court in California, pointed out that the case should continue here because nearly every relevant witness lives in or around Chicago.

“Alison, who made most of the false and defamatory statements about me during the season two episodes ... lives in Chicago (in a home that I built),” Eckhardt stated in an affidavit that was filed last week. 

Eckhardt’s attorney, Dan Hogan, declined to comment on the parenthetical comment.


Alison Victoria’s Bucktown home that’s for sale.

Sun-Times staff

Victoria first listed her Bucktown home in September of last year for $2,295,000.

She later took the home off the market, but re-listed it five weeks ago after shaving $100,000 off the asking price.

A description of the residence in an online listing notes it is a “stunning full masonry brick and limestone single family home in prime Bucktown. With design treasures sourced from Parisian markets and hand-crafted work by local artisans, this custom home celebrates timeless old world sensibilities blended with contemporary living.”

It continues: “As soon as you enter the home you notice an abundance of natural light, high coffered ceilings, herringbone white oak floors, and traditional millwork that add vintage charm.” 

Eckhardt’s defamation suit, which seeks $2.2 million in damages, states he “has suffered from depression, sleeplessness, loss of appetite” and has undergone counseling for the “embarrassing, traumatic and humiliating” experience.

It notes although the show has been a huge ratings hit for the network, he was only paid $3,500 per episode.

HGTV, the network that produces the show, announced in February that fans can expect new “Windy City Rehab” episodes to begin airing some time later this year.

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