Windy City Rehab's Alison Victoria Cuts Ties with Costar After Alleged Questionable Payouts
Alison Victoria's relationship with her business partner Donovan Eckhardt has imploded on season two of Windy City Rehab — and on Tuesday's episode, the HGTV star ends things for good.
The co-stars have been under major stress over the last year and a half, as Eckhardt had his general contractor and developer licenses suspended by the city of Chicago over violations, and he and Victoria faced down stop-work orders and serious legal troubles. All that drama has been playing out on the new season, which premiered September 15.
Now, after a huge revelation about Eckhardt's alleged mishandling of company finances, the designer has finally had enough.
"This is the end with me and Donovan. He’s gone, by his own right, by his own doing," she says in the episode. "I have lost a friend and I have lost a business partner. But I do know this: This happened for a reason, and I know that I am strong, and I know that I will get through this."
While she admits things are "crazy right now" following their split, she feels she made the right call: "I’m free. So things are gonna be a really huge mess for a really long time. There’s no light at the end of the tunnel, but I can’t imagine it’s gonna get worse than what I’m going through right now."
Things come to a head early in the episode during a meeting that she deemed "the beginning of the end."
In the sit-down, Victoria discovers that Eckhardt had issued an invoice to be paid to his own company, BE Customs, for work she claims he can't have done due to his ongoing license suspensions. (Another general contractor, Ermin, who is present at the meeting, is leading the project in his place.)
"What’s happening here?" she says. "What are you getting paid for? That’s what I’m trying to understand."
WATCH THIS: Windy City Rehab’s Alison Victoria on Starting Over After a Difficult Year: ‘I’m So Much Stronger’
Eckhardt struggles to answer, citing time spent talking to investors and site visits, before acquiescing: "I don’t care anymore. Fine. Don’t write the check," he says.
Eckhardt's companies, Greymark Development and BE Customs, could not be reached, and PEOPLE has not been able to independently confirm Victoria’s allegation that he was paid out unduly on their renovation projects.
"I don’t take things lightly when I feel like I've been screwed over," Victoria says afterward. "I need to know where that money went and I need to make decisions based on those answers."
She asks her head of purchasing, Christine, to do "comprehensive audits" on all of their past projects to look for more questionable payouts to Eckhardt.
"If he was able to slip an invoice in there, what else did he do?" Victoria questions. "I’m thinking back on the last ten homes that he and his team were running. If he did it with us and we caught it, what did he do on the others? I want to look into every single property."
Christine does find another invoice for $150,000 paid to BE Customs from their last renovation, which Victoria says was "50 percent" of the total construction budget for the house.
"That’s a big one. Oh my god," she tells Christine.
Addressing Eckhardt in a separate confessional-style interview she adds: "Where did the money go? Show me who you paid. Show me what happened. You got the money off the top. That means that’s my money too. Those are my houses. That’s my bank loan. And I received zero from those jobs. From most of them, I received zero profit."
She also opens up to her brother James about her financial woes, telling him, "Everything that I’ve ever made is gone."
"All my personal money has now been put into my business to keep the projects going," she says before breaking down in tears. "I’m not sleeping at all. My anxiety is beyond crazy. I’m not even myself anymore."
Aside from the successful makeover of a Magnificent Mile high-rise, the episode has one other major bright spot for the designer: She gets to throw out the first pitch at a Cubs game at Wrigley Field — see the video at top — a dream for the lifelong Chicagoan.
Windy City Rehab airs Tuesdays at 9 PM on HGTV.
- See Taraji P. Henson as Miss Hannigan for NBC's Annie Live!: 'Playing the Villain Is Always Fun'
- Michael J. Fox Opens Up About His Health, Life with Tracy Pollan: 'I'm in a Really Good Groove'
- Gwyneth Paltrow Is Working to 'Accept' Her Body as She Ages: 'It's All Going South from Here!'
- How Marilyn Monroe Was Nearly Courted by Prince Rainier of Monaco to Save His Throne