Cheryl Burke Maksim Chmerkovskiy
(Photo by Jesse Grant/WireImage)

Cheryl Burke Received Apology From Maksim Chmerkovskiy for Fat-Shaming on DWTS

Once upon a time, Cheryl Burke was fat-shamed by Maksim Chmerkovskiy on Dancing with the Stars. Cheryl, a former pro on the show, retired from the series after Season 31. She made no secret of the fact that she wanted to be a judge. But that dream didn’t come to fruition.

Instead, Cheryl launched a new podcast, titled Sex, Lies and Spray Tans. It delves into the behind-the-scenes stories of DWTS. She recently had former dance pro, and guest judge, Maksim on the podcast. This interaction caused Cheryl to reflect on a painful moment from the past.

Cheryl Burke was fat-shamed by Maksim Chmerkovskiy and another pro

Tony Dovolani, Cheryl Burke and Maksim Chmerkovskiy
(Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for Rolling Stone)

Cheryl was fat-shamed by both Maks and fellow dance pro, Louis van Amstel when DWTS was a ratings blockbuster. “This has always been an issue because I am a curvy girl and that’s just the way it is,” she told the New York Post. “And it’s just — it is what it is. And either I accept it or I don’t.”

The criticism started during Season 2. “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,” Cheryl explained. “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.”

“I base my life off of seasons here, but I think it was like Season 7 or 8 right before I danced with Gilles Marini. And I’ll never forget being the center of the tabloids, just like, ‘Is she too fat for TV?’ All of these horrible comments,” Cheryl shared.

“And it wasn’t just me. It was also Lacey Schwimmer at the time. And then some of these pro dancers agreeing with it,” she stated. Body-shaming is never okay.

Maks made amends to Cheryl long ago. “He apologized years ago when this whole thing happened,” Cheryl said. “He apologized to me and my mother, actually, which was nice of him. But look, is there closure? I don’t know if there’s closure.”

She added, “I mean, it’s not just because of him saying anything. It goes back to my dancing and competition career.” Hopefully, Cheryl can find some sort of closure and continue to embrace her body.

Dancing with the Stars continues on Tuesdays on ABC and Disney+.