'Rehab Addict' returns; host Nicole Curtis advocates for children who 'need a voice'

Maureen Feighan
The Detroit News

"Rehab Addict" Nicole Curtis says she didn't have a choice when it came to becoming a national advocate for breast-feeding because "children need a voice."

Curtis has been in a contentious yearslong custody dispute with the father of her 3-year-old son Harper but continues to be a vocal supporter of a mother's right to breast-feed and child-led weaning, meaning a child decides when he or she wants to stop, not the parent. In a late June social media post, she noted that she's still nursing her toddler son.

Lake Orion native Nicole Curtis returns to the DIY network Wednesday with the season premiere of "Rehab Addict."

“I believe that women need a voice and a role model to be exactly who we were designed to be — nurturers and bad — creatures that keep going through even the roughest of times,” said Curtis, a Lake Orion native who continues to fight her son’s father, Shane Macguire, over custody and parenting time in Oakland County Circuit Court.

“Is that me? Sometimes, but the most important thing is that every woman out there realizes that it is in all of us — women supporting women,” said Curtis in an email to The Detroit News. “Children need a voice. They are getting washed out in the mix and we are seeing the long-term effects everywhere.”

Curtis, meanwhile, returns to her TV roots Wednesday with the season premiere of her show “Rehab Addict” on the DIY network. Now in its eighth season, the new season will feature at least three local projects, including a lake cottage in Curtis’s hometown of Lake Orion, a house on 14 Mile in Birmingham and a house she previously rehabbed on Detroit’s west side that was damaged after a pipe froze and 150,000 gallons of water spilled out.

The Lake Orion cottage is “one of our busiest Airbnb rentals now and it went from being infested with everything from mice to flooded with water to one of the best properties I own,” said Curtis, who now lives in Los Angeles. “It was fun to be back home and I worked with a lot of people I actually went to high school with.”

Nicole Curtis and her team rehabbed a quaint lake cottage in Lake Orion that will be featured on the new season of "Rehab Addict."

It’s been a crazy ride for Curtis over the last five years. “Rehab Addict” has now filmed more than 100 episodes and Curtis helped transform one of the city’s most well-known, albeit rundown, houses, the Ransom-Gillis House in Detroit’s Brush Park.

But as much as her life has changed since her rise to fame, Curtis, who also has a 20-year-old son from a previous relationship, said in some ways, things haven’t changed that much at all for her show in its eight seasons.

“We still shoot with one camera,” said Curtis, 41. “It’s still me being off the cuff and just me. However, there is a lighter feel all around as I’m 10 years wiser and experienced in life and building.”

When it comes to homeowners remodeling their own homes, Curtis said it’s OK to give things a try first before calling a professional.

At least two of "Rehab Addict" Nicole Curtis's projects are now available to rent in Metro Detroit through Airbnb.

“It’s all about education and knowing more than you think you need to,” she said. “I started out not knowing anything (and some days I think that I still don’t). In all seriousness, I still say, ‘Try it first.’ Worst case scenario, you have to call someone in, but at least you learned something.”

And will more Detroit projects be in her future? The same woman who shielded her pregnancy until long after her son was born isn’t giving many hints.

“We are always doing something,” Curtis said, “and what I have learned over the years is it is easiest to work in quiet, so I’ll leave it at that. We have kept all our properties here and have truly had so much fun putting them on Airbnb.”

Whatever she does — “maybe” she said as far as the possibility of another book — Curtis said she’s so grateful for her fans. 

“I get goosebumps sitting here as I say, from the bottom of my heart, thank you to everyone who has supported our little hobby of saving old houses over the years. It gets more amazing every day.”


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Twitter: @mfeighan


'Rehab Addict' returns

Season 8 premiere. The new season will feature at least two local projects, a lake cottage in Lake Orion and a home on 14 Mile in Birmingham.

8 p.m. Wednesday

DIY Network.