"You guys, I'm with you and I support you."
With those words, HGTV star and Detroit native Nicole Curtis was escorted by police out of a City Council meeting in Roseville, a suburb just east of Detroit. She didn't argue as she was led outside while supporters shouted in her defense.
City officials have not yet responded to questions about why a calm Curtis was removed from a public meeting.
She was there to speak during public comment and weigh in on a plan to redevelop the now-closed Sacred Heart Catholic Church, one of the oldest parishes in the area. Curtis has said she'll fight to save the building, which is slated to be turned into storage units.
Curtis was denied when she tried to speak, and denied again when residents went to the microphone to ask if they could cede their time to her. "You're out of order ... You're out of order, too ... Put your hand down please," an angry-sounding city official said when people pleaded for them to let Curtis speak. Curtis is heard saying, "Mayor, if I could just speak."
When someone else pipes up to give Curtis time, the speaker says, "You're out of order, too ... Do you want to leave? You're not going to disrupt this meeting. That's not how we do things in Roseville."
Someone else from the city podium says, "We do not defer (time)... It's not Robert's Rules, it's the city of Roseville's rules ... If you interrupt me, we're going to ask you to leave. All you're doing is making a spectacle of yourself."
An officer approaches, obviously intent on making her leave -- and Curtis does. "Please help us," a man shouts at Curtis' retreating back.
Roseville Mayor Robert Taylor did not immediately respond to a WWJ request for comment.
Curtis had earlier posted a Facebook message about the importance of preserving the church.
Resident Patty Willoughby thanked Curtis for her support of the church, writing, "Thank you for coming to my home town and standing up for the citizens who feel unheard! This sale and demolition would be a travesty! You are a hero to people and beautiful buildings. There is another church just down the road, also an historical site, facing the same fate. So many would be grateful if your voice is heard!"
Curtis, host of "Rehab Addict," has built a career on redeveloping old houses that others left for dead. She has at times been a controversial figure who fought in court and in the court of public opinion with both her mother and the father of her youngest child.