While many celebrities shared sweet family photos on Thanksgiving, one HGTV star revealed she spent the holiday alone because of an ugly custody battle.
Fans of shows like Rehab Addict and Beach Flip might know that host Nicole Curtis shares a 3-year-old son, named Harper, with her ex-husband Shane Maguire.
Maguire was granted paternity and joint custody of Harper in 2015, and her son's time in his custody is at the heart of Curtis' recent trouble.
In a heartbreaking Instagram post this week, the host revealed that she was separated from her son on Thanksgiving, after Maguire refused to share his parenting time.
Curtis posted a photo of herself with Harper and her 21-year-old son Ethan, from a different relationship, with a caption about how thankful she was for her sons.
"I’ve been asked what my Thanksgiving plans are and receive horrified looks when I say nothing," she shared.
"Like so many others we are trapped in the fd [sic] world of 'not your parenting time.'"
Curtis went on to explain that she "never expected to be in this situation," and would still welcome her ex at her Thanksgiving table if she could, "but it’s not up to me."
Then, Curtis went on to criticize her ex directly.
If you are the parent that refuses to allow your child the joy of having both parents in the same room (sans abusive/dangerous situation) — buck up — it’s not about you. Gave someone that talk yesterday — got me nowhere, but no one ever said I wasn’t persistent.
When People reached out to Curtis about her cryptic post, she revealed the sad story that inspired it.
"Even on the worst day, my ex is encouraged and welcomed in our home. We recently all went trick-or-treating together, even though it was 'my parenting time,'" she said.
"I always hope the same courtesy will be extended, but it is not."
She claims that Harper was sick before the holiday, but that Maguire would not change his plans to have him - and only him - over for Thanksgiving dinner.
"I arrived at the airport and literally had my baby ripped out of my arms and whisked away as I was 'screwing up' Thanksgiving plans," she said. "The cycle never ends."
Earlier this year, Curtis also shared that she spent Easter without Harper, after her request to see him fell on deaf ears again. While Curtis and Maguire reportedly changed their custody agreement in October, it’s obviously still not working for both parties.
"Got a solid no when I asked to spend some time with my little [one] on Easter," Curtis wrote to her fans. "[I] was also told that he has his first haircut without me knowing because he 'looked like a girl.'"
"I think in life some people take advantage of you when you’re most vulnerable," she added. "Just remember that that person seeks the weak out because they are weak themselves."
Maguire has yet to respond to Curtis’ claims or tell his side of the story, but the viral Instagram post has already touched a nerve with many parents who are separated or divorced.
"I know that feeling all to [sic] well…" one commented.
"I’m sorry that you have to deal with someone speaking to you this way. Let alone an influence in your child’s life," another wrote.
Despite how painful it could be to read Curtis’ story, the host says she shared it to uplift parents going through similar experiences.
"I wrote my post because it’s something that most people will luckily never understand, but those that do feel shame and just sadness," she told People.
"Over the past ten years [since Rehab Addict’s debut], I have heard from hundreds of 'single' parents."
"They shared their stories and applauded seeing Ethan’s dad and me in photos, from everything from soccer games to Christmas dinner. I encouraged each one to keep trying because it wasn’t always that way and it took a lot of work."
Hopefully Curtis and her ex can put their differences aside for their son's sake.