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From lingering lawsuits to the dissolution of her business partnership with Donovan Eckhardt, Windy City Rehab star Alison Victoria has not had an easy year. On a recent episode of HGTV House Party, the Chicago-based designer chatted with hosts Brian Balthazar and Loren Ruch about the hardships that unfolded during the latest Windy City Rehab season, as well as how she's been coping since.
While season two aired on HGTV back in September and October 2020, Victoria is still picking up the pieces post-Eckhardt split. "I’ve gone through hell. I’m not even close to being back—at all," she said to hosts Balthazar and Ruch, noting there is still pending litigation and topics she cannot discuss. In fact, she doesn't even want to be reminded of the events that unfolded during the season. "Honestly, I’m not going to watch it. I can’t watch it again because it’s reliving my life. It’s PTSD," she said.
As a refresher, season two captured the chaos leading up to and following Victoria's decision to cut ties and file a lawsuit against Eckhardt. The designer knew she needed out after an audit revealed that Eckhardt had been allocating funds from their shared account to his own. On top of that, his real estate developer and general contractor licenses had been suspended by the city, which she found out through the media, and not Eckhardt himself.
However, Victoria has found a silver lining to the struggles she faced both on and off screen. "I think that I am the best version of myself right now because I feel like I’ve learned so much about myself, my strength, my resilience," she said.
"I started doing transcendental meditation, which is saying your mantra no matter where you are," she explains, noting that she can practice this in her car or while on set. Since diving into the practice, she's been able to refresh her mindset—and focus more on the things that fall into her control, instead of the things that don't.
While Victoria still has some pending lawsuits on her plate, one weight was recently lifted off her shoulder. Last month she announced that the lawsuit arising from a project at 1700 Wabansia was resolved. Also, she currently shows off her design chops as a rotating guest host on Ty Pennington's new show, Ty Breaker. Fingers crossed that more good things are en route!
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