Why ‘DWTS’ Alum Maksim Chmerkovskiy Previously Called This Former Partner ‘A Sh***ty Person’

Mirrorball champ Maksim Chmerkovskiy competed in his last season of Dancing With the Stars in 2018. Paired with celebs from sports and entertainment over many years on the show, the DWTS alum had some choice words for one former partner after her memoir was released in 2012.

Maksim Chmerkovskiy of 'Dancing With the Stars'
Maksim Chmerkovskiy of ‘Dancing With the Stars’ | Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

Soccer star witnessed a ‘DWTS’ battle

Goalkeeper for the United States women’s national soccer team from 2000 to 2016, Hope Solo competed in the 13th season of Dancing With the Stars and was matched with Chmerkovskiy. The two had a bumpy season, which included the DWTS pro having an on-air spat with judge Len Goodman after he gave their rumba – and Solo’s shoes – low marks.

“With all due respect, this is my show,” Chmerkovskiy told Brooke Charvet after his performance with Solo, according to Entertainment Weekly. “I helped make it what it is – I love every aspect of it. I love every professional that has ever been here, and I love every celebrity that puts effort into it every week. Having said that, I’m a little tired that we are being judged, some on effort and some, being picked on (for) our heel leads.”

Chmerkovskiy took issue with how Solo was critiqued, and continued to speak out in their defense.

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“It just kind of came to the point where I kind of had enough,” he told reporters after the show. “It’s like give us a bad score, don’t call us out. Say it wasn’t my cup of tea… we’ll take the criticism. Don’t tell me it was your worst dance of the season because you’re an idiot, you know it’s not true. … I’m just not going to sit back and let my partner get disrespected.”

Hope Solo called Maksim Chmerkovskiy ‘rough and mean’

In her 2012 book, Solo: A Memoir of Hope, the World Cup champion chronicled her DWTS experience with some strong claims about her dance teacher.

“He was often nasty, swearing at me and being harshly critical,” Solo wrote, according to USA Today. “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.”

Solo accused Chmerkovskiy of other physical actions, including hitting her in the face.

“Maks was rough and mean with me, flinging me and pushing me around,” the Olympic gold medalist commented. “He wanted my head in a specific position. To achieve that, he slapped me across the face. Hard.”

Holo added that she kept quiet for fear of hurting Chmerkovskiy’s career and appearing like a “prima donna.” She also remarked that the DWTS pro was “extremely apologetic.”

‘DWTS’ star didn’t hold back on his rebuttal

Chmerkovskiy flatly denied the allegations. Though he didn’t mention Solo by name, the dance pro posted a cryptic tweet just days after her book was published.

“Always hated hypocrites and liars… but when someone is both AND an opportunist, I just feel bad for them,” he wrote in August 2012. “Can’t win at someone’s expense…”

When asked about Solo on a later podcast, the DWTS alum further elaborated on his feelings and didn’t mince words.

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“She’s just a sh**ty person,”  Chmerkovskiy said on “Allegedly with Theo Von & Matthew Cole Weiss”. “People can be bad or good or whatever. You can have a sh**ty life growing up – You can have a tough upbringing. You can have history. … But if you are just a bad person, you know what I mean? There’s no excuse for that.”

Solo had her own response to Chmerkovskiy’s comments, tweeting a photo of DWTS judges holding up a “1” score on their paddles.