By Patrick Kevin Day, Los Angeles Times –
LOS ANGELES — Soccer star Hope Solo almost made it to the top three during her time on “Dancing With the Stars” last fall, but according to her new memoir, the experience with her partner, Maksim Chmerkovskiy was less than joyous.
According to multiple press reports, in her new book, “Solo: A Memoir of Hope,” the athlete says Chmerkovskiy “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. But it kept getting worse.”
In another incident, Solo says the Ukranian-American dancer slapped her across the face hard enough to make her ears ring. She writes, “He was extremely apologetic. I didn’t care. My ear was ringing as I walked out, shaking. I had just been hit, and I had been worried about how I would come off looking on television.”
She goes on to explain that ABC offered her another dancing partner, but she declined. She says she “didn’t want to end Maks’ career.”
Chmerkovskiy appeared to respond to the claims on his Twitter feed on Thursday, writing, “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…”
On Friday he followed up with “Life’s best lessons are the ones that you smile through. … while they hurt you the most! I’m bullet proof. … FIRE AWAY!”
For the upcoming season of “Dancing With the Stars: All-Stars,” Chmerkovskiy will be paired with Kirstie Alley.
ABC did not respond to a request for comment.