Cheryl Burke Says She Was "Out of Line" for Slamming This "DWTS" Celeb
The pro apologized for negative comments she made about Ian Ziering seven years ago.
Cheryl Burke has been a part of the Dancing With the Stars world since Season 2, when she won the trophy with her celebrity partner Drew Lachey. Though she's taken a few seasons off here and there, Burke is one of the most experienced pros on the dance competition series and has stepped into the ballroom with a total of 21 famous contestants. She didn't get along with all of them, however, and recently, Burke issued an apology for speaking ill of one partner in particular. On her podcast, Cheryl Burke said that the comments she made about actor Beverly Hills, 90210 Ian Ziering several years ago were "out of line." Read on to find out why she's making amends now and what she said she regrets. And for more info about the show, check out 25 Celebrities You Won't Believe Did Dancing With the Stars.
Burke slammed Ziering as her least favorite partner during a 2016 podcast interview.
When she was the guest on Allegedly with Theo Von & Matthew Cole Weiss in April 2016, Burke participated in a candid, wide-ranging conversation about her DWTS career so far and her experience with the celebrities on the show.
Though she praised him and his career advice in her 2011 memoir, Dancing Lessons, when asked who her least favorite partner was, the pro called out Ziering, who she competed with in Season 4. Despite the couple finishing in fourth place, Burke was apparently not at all pleased with the pairing. The issues seemed to stem from clashing personalities; she indicated that Ziering was too intense for her.
Burke also said that working with Ziering made her "want to slit [her] wrists," and claimed that she went to DWTS executives crying and begging them to eliminate her and Ziering. "I swear, every time I asked, we just kept going," she said.
She added that she didn't use social media to ask fans to vote for her and her celebrity partner, as she usually did. Earlier in the podcast, she said that, as a 90210 fan, she was especially disappointed to not have danced with another actor from the show, naming Jason Priestley and the late Luke Perry as her preferred options.
She also poked fun at the pronunciation of his name, saying that the fact that it's "eye-an" and not "eee-an" made her "want to throw up."
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Burke apologized at the time, but primarily for the language she used.
After the podcast episode was released, Burke posted an apology for her word choice on Twitter. She did not, however, apologize specifically to Ziering.
"I've always lived by the rule that if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all," she wrote. "Recently and regrettably, I broke that rule. In the heat of an interview conversation, I used a phrase that seemingly makes light of suicide and I deeply regret it. I have many friends and family members that struggle with depression and thoughts of suicide. To have said something that seemingly makes a mockery of what they've gone through and what they live with is something that I apologize for. I never meant to hurt anyone or to trivialize the topic. I was out of line and for that I apologize."
Ziering didn't respond directly.
Back in 2016, after Burke's comments about Ziering went viral, the actor subtly acknowledged them on Twitter.
As reported by Us Weekly, he responded to actor and host Jaymes Vaughan, who retweeted The Talk's post about Burke's interview with his own commentary. Vaughan wrote, "For what it's worth I've worked with @IanZiering on stage and on TV and loved the dude every time. #NiceGuy."
"Thanks Jaymes…" Ziering replied.
For stars who were almost on the show, check out 17 Celebrities Who Turned Down Dancing With the Stars.
Burke now regrets sharing those negative comments publicly.
Burke co-hosts her own podcast, Pretty Messed Up, with her Season 29 partner, Backstreet Boys singer AJ McLean. In the Apr. 18 episode of the show, as reported by People, she issued another apology for the 2016 interview, this time directing it to Ziering himself.
"The one thing I truly regret and want to make amends with is Ian Ziering," she said. "I was completely out of line a few years ago, and I did a podcast where they were asking me who my favorite partner was and who did I hate the most. And I answered Ian Ziering, and I said something along the lines of 'I'd rather slit my wrists than dance with Ian Ziering again.'"
Burke called herself out for "trying to get a reaction and putting him as my punching bag" and for "[taking] it to that next level of nastiness."
"And I'm here to publicly apologize to Ian and his family," she added.
People noted that Burke didn't mention in the podcast whether she had approached Ziering privately, and he did not respond to the outlet's request for comment.
If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide or self-harm, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 or chat them 24/7 for free and confidential support.