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Jaleel White, who starred on Family Matters as Steve Urkel, had been out of the spotlight before joining this season of ABC’s Dancing with the Stars, but now he is back in the public eye and getting the bad publicity that often comes with it. White had to respond to a report that he got into a fight with his professional dance partner Kym Johnson during rehearsals last week. White is calling the report “exaggerated."
On Monday, Us Weekly cited an insider that claimed that Johnson and White got into a “heated” argument on Friday and that Mark Ballas and producers had to break it up. "The producers stepped in and broke it up before it got physical, but they were really going at it -- right up in each other's faces!" the source is quoted as saying.
After the performances on Monday, White told People magazine that the report was “completely exaggerated.”
"We go to work every day, and there is an alley full of tabloid reporters. It's not fair to us and that's life, and I hope people can see through it. There's no drama in my life,” White told People.
A source for People said that an incident did happen and that White was “out of line” and that he was “just stressed out and ready to snap.” The source added that Ballas and contestant Donald Driver had to stop the incident before it got out of hand.
Ballas told People, “These things happen. This show is a competitive show. Things get heated. ... This got severely twisted. We've been in the same room all night, and everything's fine.”
Ballas also told TMZ that the story was a “complete fabrication” and that he was not a target of White’s outburst.
White has also been forced to respond to allegations of abuse claims by ex-girlfriend Bridget Hardy. Hardy has reportedly said that he physically and verbally abused her, but White told Entertainment Tonight that this wasn’t true. "There was no verbal abuse. Couples argue, that's normal. I'm not going to pretend like we didn't have any arguments, obviously we broke up,” he said, adding that Hardy was attacking his “joy” by bringing it up while he is on DWTS.