EXCLUSIVE: ‘Dance Moms’ Stars on ‘Traumatizing’ Experience With Abby Lee Miller & Watching Her Enter Prison
The stars of Dance Moms are opening up about being “traumatized” by the show’s host and dance coach Abby Lee Miller, their thoughts on her prison sentence and filming the new season of the Lifetime series without her.
Miller was sentenced to 366 days in prison after being found guilty of bankruptcy fraud in May.
“I wasn’t [surprised],” Christi Lukasiak told ET’s Lauren Zima at the 2017 Teen Choice Awards in Los Angeles, California, on Sunday. “I’ve known Abby for a very long time, so I can’t say I was really surprised… there’s a lot of history there.”
While the 40-year-old mom was vague about why she wasn’t shocked by the news, she was clear on one thing — the pair is no longer close.
“We’re not friends any longer, I’m sorry to say,” she laughed.
In fact, Christi even refused to watch scenes showing Miller eating mac and cheese on her way to prison.
“I wouldn’t watch. I wouldn’t give her the ratings,” said the reality star, who was hoping to meet Stranger Things star Millie Bobby Brown at the awards show.
One person who did watch the scene was dancer Kendall Vertes. “I don’t really know what to say about that, but good luck to her and hope she’s well where she is,” Vertes told ET.
Christi added that she’s “traumatized” by the drama with Miller, however, her daughter, Chloe Lukasiak, feels differently, saying she’s actually thankful for the experience.
“Only because I’m a huge believer that everything happens for a reason” she told ET. “So, I think I was meant to have that good and bad experience, and learn and grow from it. It definitely gave me thick skin, which is crucial for this industry.”
Chloe admitted that her quick exit from the series caused some awkwardness with her co-stars, but they have since re-bonded.
“I left the show pretty abruptly and we didn’t really have a proper goodbye,” she shared. “We left it very weird, so whenever I would see them, we would say, ‘Hi.’ But, it wasn’t how it used to be. But then I went back to the show and we rekindled that friendship.”
“We don’t feel awkward at all any longer,” added Christi. “It’s like we never left. I was at dinner with the moms last night and they were like, ‘You were gone, but it feels like you never left.’”
The stars added that they’re excited for fans to see upcoming episodes, which feature “fabulous” dancer Cheryl Burke as the series’ new lead.
“She’s amazing,” Vertes gushed. “I love her so much. She gets us, because her schedule on Dancing With the Stars is exactly like ours, so she knows how to get it done. She’s great. And she’s nice about it.”
Vertes added that Burke’s kindness has helped shed the negative energy surrounding the show, but noted that the new season will still be full of drama.
“People love to see the dancing, but the drama will always still be there between, not just the kids, but the moms, too. And of course, the dance teacher and the moms. So, it’s probably one of our best seasons.”
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