Hope Solo: Maksim Chmerkovskiy slapped me in the face, 'Dancing with the Stars' fixed
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 08/17/2012
Hope Solo has alleged former Dancing with the Stars professional partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy "manhandled" her during rehearsals and the show was rigged to provide the most drama possible for entertainment purposes.
The Olympic soccer star has released a memoir entitled Solo: A Memoir of Hope in which she makes alarming allegations regarding her professional partnership with Chmerkovskiy during her Dancing with the Stars experience last year -- including getting slapped in the face and brutally hit in the stomach, USA Todayreported.
"He wanted my head in a specific position. To achieve that, he slapped me across the face. Hard," Solo reportedly wrote, adding that Chmerkovskiy was "extremely apologetic" following the blow to her face.
"He manhandled me in rehearsals from the start, pushing me, whacking my stomach, bending my arms roughly. I thought that was just how it went -- how dancers worked with each other. I was tough. I could take it. But it kept getting worse. One day, Maks was trying to put me in a certain position and hit my stomach so hard with his open palm that I had a red handprint there for the rest of the day."
Solo reportedly wrote that Chmerkovskiy was "often nasty" because he'd swear at her and be "harshly critical" during rehearsals, further explaining that "Maks was rough and mean with me, flinging me and pushing me around. I could see the shocked looks on the faces of the other dancers."
One rehearsal got so rough that Dancing with the Stars professional partner Derek Hough stepped in and took Chmerkovskiy's place for the remainder of the day, according to USA Today. While much of the behavior was allegedly caught on camera, especially the face slap, the majority of it never appeared on Dancing with the Stars' broadcasts.
Another incident that forced Solo to be skeptical of the show's credibility was when Chmerkovskiy allegedly told her a "secret memo" had circulated backstage one week revealing their upcoming elimination. Solo also reportedly claims the memo was why Chmerkovskiy caused a scene and memorably mocked judge Len Goodman during one of Dancing with the Stars' live broadcasts, allegedly persuading producers to keep them in the competition longer.
It "supposedly saved us for another week," Solo wrote, according to USA Today.
However, Solo reportedly insisted she kept the issues with her partner under wraps because she "didn't want to end Maks' career" and also feared she'd come across looking like a "prima donna" to viewers.
While Chmerkovskiy has not publicly responded to Solo's accusations yet, he has seemingly alluded to them on Twitter.
"Always hated hypocrites and liars...but when someone is both AND an opportunist, I just feel bad for them. Can't win at someone's expense..." Chmerkovskiy tweeted yesterday.
Upcoming Dancing with the Stars: All-Stars participant Kirstie Alley -- who was partnered with Chmerkovskiy for the show's twelfth season and will be paired up with him again for the all-stars edition which premieres next month-- also took to Twitter in apparent support of the pro dancer.
"I shall bite thine tongue, lest I get into a girl fight that I would surely lose without a hammer in my hand...;)... ouch! bloody tongue," Alley subsequently tweeted.
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Solo and Chmerkovskiy competed in the thirteenth season of Dancing with the Starsand finished in fourth place.
ABC has reportedly declined official comment on the matter.