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Former "Windy City Rehab" Costar Donovan Eckhardt Files $2.2 Million Defamation Lawsuit

Isabel Garcia
Photo credit: Donovan Eckhardt - Instagram
Photo credit: Donovan Eckhardt - Instagram

From House Beautiful

Former Windy City Rehab costar Donovan Eckhardt has filed a defamation a lawsuit claiming emotional distress based on his portrayal during the second season of the popular HGTV show, reports the Chicago Sun-Times.

The lawsuit was filed in in Cook County Circuit Court in Illinois on Monday against Discovery Inc. (HGTV's parent company) and Big Table Media (Windy City Rehab's production company). The filing asks the companies to award Eckhardt in excess of $2.2 million for counts of "defamation" and "intentional infliction of emotional distress.” In a statement to House Beautiful, HGTV said it does not comment on pending litigation.

Windy City Rehab star Alison Victoria Gramenos (who goes by Alison Victoria) is not named as a defendant. She declined to comment.

The 23-page lawsuit claims that the show was scripted and edited to portray Eckhardt as a "villain and cause...of all the issues" as well as Victoria's "alleged financial ruin."

In the lawsuit, Eckhardt, who was the contractor and developer on the show and Victoria's business partner, claims that in an effort to meet "aggressive filming and production deadlines," he and Victoria "proceeded with certain work without obtaining approved amendments to necessary permits, without completed inspections, and ultimately received various building code citations which resulted in the temporary suspension of both of their respective licenses and privileges to apply for building permits in the City of Chicago."

Eckhardt did not immediately respond to House Beautiful's request for comment.

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