Hope Solo Makes Strong Accusations Against Her Former Dancing with the Stars Partner
Olympic gold medal winner Hope Solo has claimed that Dancing with the Stars' Maksim Chmerkovskiy slapped her during rehearsals when she appeared on the show.
The shocking claim comes in the women's soccer star's new book, A Memoir of Hope, and it's causing a firestorm.
She wrote, "He manhandled me in rehearsals from the start. Pushing me, whacking my stomach, bending my arms roughly. One day Maks hit my stomach so hard with his open palm that I had a red handprint there for the rest of the day."
She said it all came to a head during one particular rehearsal. Chmerkovskiy had a broken toe and Solo was dancing with a stand-in. Solo claimed, "He was getting angrier and angrier, he slapped me across the face. Hard."
The Olympic star also claimed she was hit so hard her ears were ringing. She said producers offered to fire Chmerkovskiy, but she saved his job.
Chmerkovskiy took to Twitter to defend himself Friday and tweeted, "always hated hypocrites and liars ... But when someone is both and an opportunist, I just feel bad for them." He also stopped following Solo on Twitter.
His former dancing partners also came to his defense on Friday.
Erin Andrews tweeted: "I love u @Maksimc."
And Kirstie Alley tweeted: "DWTS is the most real reality show on tv what you see is what you get. @Maksimc love."
Solo appeared Late Night with Jimmy Fallon on Thursday and on ESPN on Friday. She said she stands by her accusation.
"I expected them to come out and deny it but at the end of the day I wrote this book and everybody knows that I speak the truth. That's what I do," she said.
Solo and Chmerkovskiy were a volatile mix with rehearsals punctuated with cursing and abuse. During one episode Chmerkovskiy did apologize for being too rough with her.
It was when he was dancing with Solo that Chmerkovskiy had that now notorious bust-up with judge, Len Goodman.
Goodman said, "I've been doing this 50 years!"
Chmerkovskiy argued, "Well maybe it's about time you get out."