Windy City Rehab Premiere Reveals HGTV Stars Fell Out Over Shady Finances
"I don’t know what to believe anymore," Alison Victoria says after discovering a huge payout to her co-star, contractor Donovan Eckhardt
Windy City Rehab costars Alison Victoria and Donovan Eckhardt have had a tumultuous year. In season 2, premiering September 15, it will be revealed what really happened between the HGTV co-stars and former business partners.
Since the show's debut in January 2019, Victoria and Eckhardt have faced serious legal troubles, and been slapped with stop-work orders and threatened license suspensions from the city of Chicago over a number of violations.
In the exclusive clip from season two above, Victoria discovers that one of her flip houses has been broken into and construction materials were stolen. But there's even more at stake in the first episode.
In the premiere, the tension between Victoria and Eckhardt is at an all-time high, as they're turned down for a loan by their bank, and Victoria finds out that the majority of the renovation budget for a stalled project has already been paid out to Eckhardt's company without her knowledge.
"I don’t know what to believe anymore," Victoria says after the revelation. "For so long, I was letting [Eckhardt] run all the budgets, do all the bank draws, deal with the bank accounts and I was just designing. It’s been shocking."
In the episode, she meets with a friend to discuss what appears to be the beginning of the end for the co-stars' professional relationship. "We have twelve companies together because each house is a different LLC," she says. "How do you get out of that? All of a sudden the dust starts to settle, you start seeing the light? I kept making up excuses."
The trailer for the season, below, further hints at their falling out. At one point, the contractor gets so frustrated he says, "I just want to get in my car and leave everything behind me."
Victoria, meanwhile, states, "This is not a test that I will fail. You bet your a-- I’m gonna do this the right way, and you bet your a-- I’m gonna make the right call."
WATCH THIS: Tensions Rise in Windy City Rehab Season 2 Trailer
The season seems to promise more answers about what went on behind the scenes amid all the public issues they've faced.
In 2019, the city of Chicago issued the designer and contractor nearly a dozen stop-work orders for their residential projects and moved to suspend Eckhardt's real estate developer and general contractor license for one year, the Chicago Tribune reported at the time.
In the notice, the city said that Eckhardt had worked without a permit at 11 different properties, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
Block Club Chicago reported that the renovation projects also failed to adhere to safety codes and hired workers who were not properly licensed or certified by the city, among other violations.
The HGTV stars have since been allowed to restart work at those properties.
In April 2020, Victoria and Eckhart were named in a lawsuit filed by two homeowners, Shane Jones and Samantha Mostaccio, who had purchased a $1.3 million house featured on the show. The couple alleges negligent construction, according to a complaint obtained by PEOPLE.
Per the court documents, the homeowners have dealt with several construction and warranty defects, including water damage, cracking concrete columns and a problematic garage, which has allegedly required more than $100,000 in repairs.
In another lawsuit filed in December 2019, the stars were similarly sued over alleged faulty work in one of their properties.
Season 2 of Windy City Rehab premieres Tuesday, September 15, at 9 p.m. on HGTV.
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