The Tragic Truth About David Bromstad

David Bromstad made a name for himself for his infectious personality and creativity on Season One of HGTV's "Design Star." After competing against several other contestants in weekly home design challenges, the Minnesota native took home the grand prize — becoming the star of his own show on the network. After mentoring designers in subsequent seasons, he started his job as host of HGTV's "My Lottery Dream Home." The series takes lucky individuals who have just won the lottery around to different potential dream homes in search of their future digs. 

Bromstad is known for his ability to mix "styles that incorporate realism and fantasy," using his previous education as a design student at the Ringling School of Art and Design to help bring homes to life. The host has become a staple on HGTV, starring in several shows, including "Color Splash" and "Rock the Block." When he's not on HGTV, Bromstad puts his platform to good use by advocating for the LGBTQ+ community, of which he is a proud member.

While the design expert seems to have it all, his life behind the scenes hasn't always been as picture-perfect as viewers might think. He's endured several struggles throughout his life, and he's not afraid to share them with his fans. To become an HGTV superstar, Bromstad went through a lot of personal growth, from his personal life and relationships to his professional life and the public scrutiny that comes with it. We're breaking down the tragic truth about David Bromstad.

David Bromstad was 'tormented' growing up

David Bromstad may have plenty to smile about as the star of "My Lottery Dream Home," but his life was a much different story growing up. In an interview with Lavender Magazine (via The List), Bromstad opened up about his childhood, admitting that he wasn't popular at school. After moving to a new city as a kid, the designer had a hard time making new friends, which led to some haunting memories. 

"Going to school was torture for me and I dreaded going to school for fear of being tormented every day. I was always the center of every joke and always laughed at," he revealed. "I don't know if there is any way to let you know how I got through it. I just did. I woke up, I dressed myself and I just had to go through it," he added. Bromstad was subjected to cruel slurs from his peers, something that has stuck with him to this day. 

To bring attention to the treatment some children face at school, Bromstad decided to use his platform for the greater good. The HGTV host donated $5,000 to Safe Schools South Florida, an organization that strives to create better school environments for kids of all genders and sexual orientations. "I was bullied and harassed continually through high school, and I know what hell that can be," Bromstad said in a statement. "I wanted to support Safe Schools South Florida's great work on behalf of LGBTQ students and help prevent this bullying and harassment from happening to others."

His ex sued him after their tumultuous split

David Bromstad had a very public falling out with his former long-term partner Jeffrey Glasko, which later led to a lawsuit. Glasko and Bromstad began dating in 2004, with Glasko later becoming the project manager and COO (Chief Operating Officer) at David Bromstad LLC. The two were together for over a decade before their relationship soured and they called it quits in 2015. While the two kept their relationship low-key and never married, the pair made headlines when Glasko sued the designer shortly after their breakup. 

According to InTouch Weekly, the former Miami police officer filed a lawsuit against Bromstad for breaching a verbal nuptial-like cohabitation contract and partition of their former condo. Legal documents claim that the HGTV host left Glasko high and dry emotionally and financially after involving himself in sexual activities and drugs. "On or about 2010, [Da­vid] began using funds shared with [Jeffrey] to pay for illicit drugs and prostitutes resulting in a loss of trust and confidence," read Glasko's complaint. 

However, the Miami-Dade circuit court judge threw out the allegations and dismissed his case against Bromstad. At the time, the judge called Glasko's claims "among the most scandalous I've ever reviewed." The design star has denied all of his former boyfriend's statements, with his lawyer William Roppolo saying in a statement, "These salacious claims were made by a desperate person. The allegations are part of a lawsuit that has been dismissed in Mr. Bromstad's favor with sanctions levied against [Glasko]."

Bromstad shared he had a 'difficult' time over the years

David Bromstad opened up to his fans on social media about some difficult years he had been enduring. The "My Lottery Dream Home" host took to Instagram in 2023 to post a photo from a hike in Norway, admitting that he decided to challenge himself and undergo some much-needed healing. 

"I've been thru a lot the last few years, which I will share when I'm ready, and this was incredibly symbolic for me," he wrote alongside a photo of him posing in front of the Reinebringen mountain. Bromstad revealed that he set out to conquer hiking the stairway of Reinebringen to get over his fear of heights, something he had never imagined he would set out to do. "While climbing up I tried not to look down at where I was as it gave me that feeling of dread but after I got up and started to come back down, that dread turned into confidence," he said.

While not specifying what exactly he had been through in previous years, Bromstad admitted that he took a moment on the hike to release his past demons. "I sat and let the tears rolled down my face and felt that beautiful emotion," he wrote. "Letting go of passed mistakes and regrets. Letting theses moments pass thru me has given me a intense clarity Building foundations!" Reaching the pinnacle of the hike was a huge milestone for the television personality, who admitted he was "present, sober and living the life I was intended to live."

He was ridiculed for his sexual orientation

David Bromstad may be openly gay and proud, but the design expert's coming out journey was far from easy. In an interview with Passport Magazine, Bromstad revealed that admitting he was gay in the '80s was a difficult feat, and he had to hide his true identity while growing up in a traditional Christian household in Minnesota. 

The designer didn't feel comfortable in his own skin, and disclosing his sexual orientation proved impossible given how his peers viewed him at a young age. "Six hundred kids in the cafeteria made obscene gestures targeted at me," he explained. "Even the junior high principal, who wanted to be cool and probably didn't realize the meaning of what the kids were doing, joined in the ridicule." 

Eventually, Bromstad mustered up enough courage to reveal his true self in 2006 while on a design show. One of the fellow competitors asked him, "Are you gay?" to which he felt compelled to reply "Yes." He went on to share, "I came out in confidence in 2006, which means that I finally accepted myself for who I was and loved myself for who I was ... it was a struggle for me ... as it went against everything I was raised to believe." Bromstad admitted that it was a ten-year-long journey for him to completely accept and love himself for who he is. Nowadays, fully out and covered in tattoos, accepting himself is a privilege. "The dork, dweeb, nerd, the unique, those are the people who rule the world!" he exclaimed.

Bromstad's best friend had a stroke

David Bromstad opened up about his friendships in 2015 when he took to Facebook to share the news of his best friend's health struggles. The design expert posted several photos alongside his best friend Gregg Girard, who had suffered a hemorrhagic stroke the year prior that severely altered his daily life. 

"He has limited use of his arm and is struggling at the moment to regain full mobility," Bromstad wrote in the post. "He is finally able to take steps without the use of a cane, which is awesome, but the road to recovery is long." The HGTV host revealed that his friend's parents had moved into their son's home to help him in his recovery, adding that the cost of Girard's physical therapy was steep. "I have teamed up with his family and an incredible organization to try and raise money to allow him to continue therapy," he said, adding a link to a GoFundMe page dedicated to raising funds for Girard's health bills. 

 Bromstad has yet to give an update on his best friend's health condition as of the time of writing. While it's unclear how much Bromstad was able to raise, Girard seems to be doing well, as evidenced by his recent Facebook posts.

His father had a significant health scare

David Bromstad suffered another tragedy when his father was in the hospital for severe health problems in 2016. Bromstad detailed his dad's struggles in a Facebook post, admitting his father had returned to the hospital in August of that year and would remain there for several days. "His valves are freaking out and is having major fluttering, his resting heart rate was at 136 which is very high," Bromstad said, asking for prayers and well wishes as his father was being monitored for a potential seizure or heart attack. 

While the HGTV star revealed his father was less than optimistic at the time, he ended up making a full recovery. Bromstad posted an Instagram photo alongside his dear ole' dad on Father's Day in 2021, and the pair were all smiles. "To the greatest dad ever! Your amazingly kind hearted, Godly, loving and deliciously competitive!" he wrote at the time. "Thank u for teaching me to be compassionate, kind, confident and of course silly!" 

Despite Bromstad's celebrity status, the designer revealed his father is not a big fan of anything with frills. "My dad had 2 options for breakfast, fancy or greasy spoon, without hesitation he chose the hole in the wall," he wrote in his caption. "This is my dad. Unpretentious and honest. It's about the experience not the price tag." The pair's close relationship was evident in his endearing tribute, and Bromstad noted that he appreciated his humble and inspiring father.

He received hate after participating in a fundraiser

David Bromstad has done his best to advocate for the LGBTQ+ community and participate in several fundraising campaigns, but one particular effort of his to pay it forward didn't go over well with some fans. In 2013, Bromstad hosted The Red Shield ReDesign Bash for the Salvation Army in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, which had 25 designers creating furniture from trash to win prizes. The design expert judged the event, but his decision to participate led to backlash from his fanbase since the Salvation Army has a history of alleged discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community. 

"Sorry David. But no. Having your participation is not them making a stride in the right direction," commented one individual on Bromstad's Facebook post. "They are using your celebrity so that others will think they have changed." The "My Lottery Dream Home" host acknowledged the feedback, writing in a statement, "I took the Salvation Army's request to participate in their fundraiser as one step in the right direction towards equality. If we simply separate ourselves from those that we assume [oppose] us or our beliefs then we will never make strides in the right direction."

Not everybody was pessimistic about Bromstad's participation in the event. One Salvation Army employee stood behind his effort to build a bridge, writing, "As a Gay member of The Salvation Army, I want to thank you for taking this step," adding, "This is a journey that will take time, and will take co-operation from both the GLBT community, and the Army."