In an exclusive preview of this week's Hollywood Houselift with Jeff Lewis, the former Flipping Out star meets with the Oscar-winning actress to recount the damage the blaze caused and discuss how to reubilt.
Sorvino's house thankfully didn't burn during the 2018 blaze that destroyed many homes in the Los Angeles area, but it was was badly damaged from smoke. "Our house got smoked and we had to send all of our belongings away to be desmoked. [The fire] came all the way down our hill and it burned the hill," she says.
Asked by the interior designer what was ruined, the 54-year-old said, "all the soft sided things weren't [but] everything else had to be sent away to be treated or treated onsite. We had to throw away all of our mattresses and sofas and yeah, it was a bummer."
"All of our belongings came back in like ten million boxes and we had two storage containers and we have the shed," she continues. "I need the mental fortitude to go through stuff and ruthlessly throw things away."
Looking at the hillside, which once was filled with grass and is now barren, Sorvino explains, "It came down to the street and our neighbor and the fire department put it out."
She continues, "We had a neighbor down the road who was defending all our houses. He stayed. . . and came out with a hose and also a shovel and put out these spot fires."
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A very special part of the property that she wants to focus on restoring first is the family's pool, which is a favorite spot for her kids. Sorvino and her husband, Christopher Backus, 40, have four children — Mattea, 16, Johnny, 15, Holden, 12, and Lucia, 9.
"Before the pool got filled with ashes, and before the fire and before Covid, the pool was the epicenter of our family life, and the pool got filled with this sort of silty ash and it wrecked the surface."
"The kids really miss it, and we just want to have this special place for our family to really enjoy and make memories together."
Lewis, 52, was more than happy to help. "It's devastating. I do like that this pool is going to bring them some joy and I feel like it's a start to putting the property back together. Maybe this is going to turn their luck around," he says.
Hollywood House Lift is Lewis's return to TV after a three year hiatus following the dramatic ending of his long-running Bravo series Flipping Out. The show concluded following a falling out with his co-star and friend of 20 years, Jenni Pulos.
Hollywood Houselift with Jeff Lewis is streaming on Amazon Freevee (the new name for IMDb TV), with a new episode available each Friday through July 29.