‘Dancing With the Stars’ Controversy: ‘I Never Abused Hope Solo’
Whether you know Hope Solo for her heroics as goalkeeper for the US women's soccer team, or perhaps even as a celebrity contestant on "Dancing with the Stars," there's one accolade you likely haven't heard the athlete brag about: Liar. At least, that's Maksim Chmerkovskiy's assertion.
In Solo's recent memoir, "Solo: A Memoir of Hope," the Olympian accused her former "Dancing with the Stars" partner of abusive behavior. Now, Chmerkovskiy is fighting back. The dancer says he is shocked and hurt by the accusations made against him. He said he has made it clear to his friends that he was never physically abusive to the Solo, despite her claims against him.
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"Maks is one of the nicest guys in the world. This is 100 percent not true," said an unnamed source close to the show. "At the moment, Maks and ABC are not making any public statements, as they are considering legal options. Not only did Hope not tell the truth in the book, she also signed a contract with the producers of 'DWTS' and could be in breach of contract."
"He was often nasty, swearing at me and being harshly critical," Hope writes. "He manhandled me in rehearsals from the start, pushing me, whacking my stomach, bending my arms roughly."
Chmerkovskiy took to his Twitter account to defend himself. "Always hated hypocrites and liars," he tweeted. "But when someone is both AND an opportunist, I just feel bad for them. Can't win at someone's expense."
Former partner Kirstie Alley also seems to be showing support for him. "I think it's always important to use your 15 minutes of fame to create something good in the world," she tweeted. "On that note ... smooch and buona notte."
A source close to Hope says she won't back down despite growing pressure and potential legal issues,
"Hope is standing behind what she wrote and has no intention of issuing an apology. No one has tried to muzzle her yet -- today she did a bunch of interviews, including ESPN," said a colleague of hers.
ABC and Chmerkovskiy's manager have declined to comment.