"She's so, so sorry, and I just hope that we can all forgive her and move on. She's my little baby sister and she's the sweetest thing ever. She is just beyond beside herself. Obviously, it wasn't her brightest moment in her life, but hopefully we can move on."
Julianne issued an apology on Twitter this weekend after she was criticized for dressing up as "Crazy Eyes," a female character played by Uzo Aduba in the Netflix drama Orange Is the New Black, for a Friday Halloween party in Beverly Hills, CA. Her outfit reportedly featured a painted-on black face, orange jumpsuit, prison identification tag, and knotted hair on the top of her head.
In her apology, Julianne, 25, expressed how she's a huge fan of Orange Is the New Black and never meant to disrespect, demean, hurt, or offend anyone with her costume choice.
"I know Julianne personally and none of the critique that she is getting at all relates to her as a person, period," Val told CNN in her defense. "Whether it was a smart decision is a different conversation. But the intention, and going deep into the conversation of judging her character, of what she may or may not think behind the scenes -- that is absurd."
Julianne doesn't have "a mean bone in her body," Bill told CNN.
"Fortunately or unfortunately, in this day and age with 24-hour coverage and social media and all that, you got to be careful with what you do. And [Julianne] would no more make any kind of racist statements than anybody on the earth. And so I would say it was probably just an innocent mistake... Trust me, I've had things taken the way I didn't want things."
Bill, Derek and Val are all still in the running to win the seventeenth-season mirror-ball trophy. Bill's professional partner is Emma Slater. Derek is dancing with Glee star Amber Riley, and Val is partnered up with actress and former Step It Up and Dance host Elizabeth Berkley.