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'Rehab Addict Lake House Rescue' on HGTV: Inside Nicole Curtis' custody battles and restraining orders

Nicole Curtis has a history of legal issues and endured acrimonious custody fights for more than 10 years
Nicole Curtis' art highlights her love of reusing and producing beautiful designs on a budget (Instagram/detroitdesign)
Nicole Curtis' art highlights her love of reusing and producing beautiful designs on a budget (Instagram/detroitdesign)

From her early roots as a waitress at Hooters to two turbulent custody battles and family drama that reached telenovela extents when her own mother attempted to file a restraining order against her, it's clear that the Nicole Curtis fans know and love in 'Rehab Addict' is not the same person off-screen. Her personal life is another proof that what we see on reality television is not always accurate.

Nicole Curtis is well-known to many fans as the creator of the famous home remodeling show 'Rehab Addict' on HGTV and DIY Network, but the reality TV star maintains a double life. Curtis is nice and delightful on screen, and she certainly appears to have it all together. But behind the scenes, it is a different tale, as Curtis has had her fair share of personal turmoil. The mother-of-two has been involved in contentious custody fights for over a decade, and she has also had multiple run-ins with the authorities. Don't even get us started on Curtis' troubled ties with the majority of her family.


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Nicole Curtis, well-known for her hands-on repair of decaying old houses in 'Rehab Addict' and 'Rehab Addict Rescue,' returns to her birthplace of Lake Orion, Michigan, to conclude the mammoth reconstruction of a historic waterfront cottage in 'Rehab Addict Lake House Rescue.' Nicole returns to the quaint 1904 home she fell in love with at first sight and was spared from demolition. Seven years later, she will finish the most challenging, expensive, and intricate project of her career, a gorgeous lakeside getaway for her family.

Who is Nicole Curtis?

Nicole Curtis, a self-taught house rehabber and designer, is also a mother, a master of salvage picking, and a passionate advocate for protecting historic buildings and restoring communities. Curtis, who is resourceful, innovative, and always on the go, is hands-on with all of her initiatives and wouldn't have it any other way. Her art highlights her love of reusing and producing beautiful designs on a budget. On her HGTV and DIY Network series 'Rehab Addict,' Curtis uses her abilities in interior design, contracting, and real estate to revitalize communities one house at a time in Minneapolis and Detroit.

Curtis was born in Michigan in 1976. She lived in Orion with her parents and brother for most of her life. She was always interested in the entertainment industry. While her parents concentrated on their garbage company, she followed an acting interest while simultaneously concentrating on her studies. Curtis went to Lake Orion High School and graduated in 1994. She went to college in Georgia, Florida after graduating. She also attended interior design classes to assist advance her job in the rehab and real estate industries. Furthermore, she is mostly self-taught in the real estate and rehab fields.

Curtis is worth millions of dollars. She began her career as a waiter at Hooters. Throughout her tenure there, she never stopped looking for new choices. In her leisure time, she began looking for properties to rehab and taught herself the fundamentals of design and remodeling. After establishing herself as a house restoration professional, she began campaigning for towns to repair and renovate rather than take down historic homes. In 1990, she was allowed to bring her work and ideas to the big screen. HGTV began airing her show, 'Rehab Addict,' which is a popular reality show on television. The show chronicles her attempts to renovate homes, rebuild dilapidated dwellings, and preserve historic architecture. The show has a big following and many excellent reviews, thanks in part to her hands-on skills and passion for accomplishing rehab projects on or under their limited budgets. DIY Network has also taken up the show, increasing her net worth even more. Curtis is concerned about the areas in which she works and established the Nicole Curtis Foundation as a means to give back. Its mission is to raise funds for the homeless, needy, and children in diverse places.


Curtis and her legal battles

The city of Minneapolis sued Curtis' firm, Detroit Renovations, for breach of contract, saying that the 'Rehab Addict' star failed to complete renovations on a property she purchased by the November 2014 deadline set by the city. The suit said Curtis' corporation failed to follow the conditions of the contract it signed with the city after acquiring the house in April 2013, and that Curtis failed to pay property taxes or maintain insurance on the home she bought. According to CBS, the two sides struck an agreement in May 2017 in which city council members settled with Detroit Renovations if it finished the development of the property by October 15, 2017, and paid construction expenditures in the amount of $150,000. Curtis, on the other side, would have to turn up the deed to the city of Minneapolis if they did not cooperate. Further information about the incident has not been released.

Curtis separated from her on-again, off-again partner Shane Maguire shortly after her unexpected pregnancy, as per her tell-all memoir, 'Better Than New: Lessons I've Learned from Saving Old Homes (and How They Saved Me'). According to the Detroit News, Maguire then petitioned for fatherhood and shared custody, and a judge granted him both based on a positive DNA test. Curtis sought to prevent Maguire from having overnight custody until Harper's second birthday, claiming that she needed more time with her son because he was fed from her body. Nevertheless, she was unsuccessful in her petition, and the judge allegedly instructed her to use a breast pump and send her milk with the boy when he visited his father. A judge ordered a revision to his birth certificate to add Maguire after the parents argued over his name. "Just like that, my little one jumps into my arm and reaches for a breast — I sit for a long time in the car when we do these returns while getting screamed at — put your boob away in my driveway," Curtis posted on Instagram in February 2017.


Curtis was embroiled in a legal dispute with Cimini, the father of her eldest kid, in 2018. According to Blast, Cimini owes $14,685.54 in back child support and failed to appear in court on December 5, 2017. As a result, he was served with an arrest warrant.

Joan Curtis, the 'Rehab Addict's mother, obtained a personal protection order against her daughter in 2016, alleging she was harassed with threatening calls and messages. A court later refused the plea, stating that she couldn't "heal family dynamics with the stroke of a pen." She also stated that the fact that the two parties agreed not to communicate with each other was enough. Curtis also told the judge that her father had threatened to leak information about his daughter to the public. "Our situation is absolutely horrifying and heartbreaking. I can't say anymore to that," Curtis spoke to Country Living about her alienation from her parents.

'Rehab Addict Lake House Rescue' premieres on HGTV and Discovery+ on Wednesday, July 13, at 8 pm ET/PT