Cheryl Burke was the first woman to win Dancing with the Stars way back in 2006 and recently opened up about trauma she experienced on the show that nearly 20 years later she has yet to get over. On her Sex, Lies and Spray Tans podcast she said she was incessantly fat shamed by professional dancers Louis van Amstel and Maksim Chmerkovskiy on the show where Chermkovskiy she says has since apologized.
Speaking to the New York Times, Burke says abot Chermkovskiy, “He apologized years ago when this whole thing happened. He apologized to me and my mother, actually, which was nice of him,” Burke said of Chmerkovskiy. “But look, is there closure? I don’t know if there’s closure. I mean, it’s not just because of him saying anything. It goes back to my dancing and competition career.”
She continued, “This has always been an issue because I am a curvy girl and that’s just the way it is. And I can’t change where my bones are or my hips. And it’s just — it is what it is. And either I accept it or I don’t. And obviously, when all your whole life it’s been centered around basically that, it’s hard to accept it.”
As for her road to closure, she ultimately says she has to find it in herself to heal those wounds saying, “And in order for that to happen, I have to love me and the body that God blessed me with, really.”
The body shaming she says began on the second season when she was partnered with Nick Lachey at the show’s peak. “It was pretty much at its peak. And with that, obviously, me dancing with Drew Lachey, [who] was my first partner. That was in the midst of Nick [Lachey] and Jessica [Simpson’s] divorce. And I think that was when people started coming in a way after me, and you can’t really — it’s hard because I was growing up in front of people’s eyes on TV. I started when I was 21, and your hormones change, and I did gain some weight,” she told The Post.