Abby Lee Miller Says Cancer and Prison Have Helped Her Learn to Mellow Out

Abby Lee Miller is seen at Lifetime's Summer Luau at W Los Angeles.
Getty Images / Rich Fury / Staff

Abby Lee Miller's time in prison and battle with cancer may have been rough, but she says it's helped her learn to mellow out. 

The "Dance Moms" star, who now uses a wheelchair after cancer ravaged her spine, served eight months at a federal prison in California. But the experience has made her stronger, she said, particularly as she returned to shoot season 8 of the Lifetime series.

“It’s hard to deal with the moms, all of that’s hard, but I don’t fly off the handle as quickly as I did," she told Us Weekly. "… And when the kids don’t win, I’m like, ‘Yeah, but you were great.’”

Miller has described her time in prison as hellish, claiming the guards singled her out. 

"I would have strange guards that were never in our unit, that I never saw before, walk in and ask others girls, 'Hey, where's that 'Dance Moms' lady? Where's that dance lady? I am going to get her,'" she said.

"Then they come to your locker, they take a can of red soda pop, shake it up, open it and spray it all over your clothes."

On top of that, she said, she was dealing with the medical scare that eventually robbed her of the use of her legs. 

She now blames her downward health spiral on prison doctors who she says took away her thyroid and diabetes medication.

“I think taking away medicine led to this entire issue and the reason I’m in a wheelchair and I'm handicapped,” she said.

Still, she hopes to regain the ability to walk again. 

“It’s usually a year after your [spinal] surgery,” she told Us Weekly. “But I’ve probably got another three months. We’ll see what happens with the knee surgery. I’m going to have knee surgery as soon as we wrap [season 8].”

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