Cheryl Burke Talks About Her Painful Past
Cheryl Burke from Dancing with the Stars is speaking out for the first time on TV about a dark secret from her past. When she was only 5-years-old, a family friend molested her.
Burke is sat down with INSIDE EDITION to talk about the molestation.
She bravely testified against retired mailman Gerry DePaula and he was sentenced to 24 years behind bars. At 90-years-old, he is now out of prison and is a registered sex offender.
INSIDE EDITION's Jim Moret asked Burke, "If that man who molested you were here right now, what would you say to him?"
Burked replied, "I would say, you should really be ashamed for what you have done. I have no hatred towards the man."
"Really?' asked Moret.
"No, I don't have any hatred," said Burke.
Moret said, "But you're angry."
"I am a little bit angry, and I really find it, I am more disgusted," Burke explained.
Burke, a a two-time champion on Dancing with the Stars, writes about that disturbing incident in her new autobiography Dancing Lessons.
And there were more hardships growing up. Burke also writes that as a teenager, a boyfriend whipped her with a belt.
Burke told Moret, "That was one of the scariest moments of my life, was that fear of, oh my god, I could die right now."
Burke says her parents didn't even know about the beating until they read her book, saying, "They are going through guilt. I don't know if they will ever overcome that but I said look, it's not your fault."
Burke is a petite size four. But when a photo of her in a bikini surfaced two years ago, a blogger called her overweight. Burke says she wanted to dissappear.
"I couldn't even show my face in public without someone looking at me and, it wasn't because I'm Cheryl Burke who is with Dancing with the Stars, but it's Cheryl Burke who is fat," said Burke.
Now by writing her book Burke says she's put all her demons behind her.