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American soccer goalie Hope Solo has been known for her controversial statements and in her newly released memoir, Solo made another statement that has drawn anger from Dancing with the Stars professional dancer Maks Chmerkovskiy.
Chmerkovskiy was Solo’s DWTS partner during Season 13 and viewers did see him shove her during one episode. But, according to USA Today, Solo writes in Solo: A Memoir of Hope that he was much more physical with her, even slapping her at one point.
“He was often nasty,” the Olympic gold medalist wrote, “swearing at me and being harshly critical... I didn't like being treated like that, but I could take it.”
She alleges that Chmerkovskiy “manhandled” her in rehearsals “...pushing me, whacking my stomach, bending my arms roughly. I thought that was just how it went – how dancers worked with each other. I was tough. I could take it.”
"But it only got worse," she adds. “One day, Maks was trying to put me in a certain position and hit my stomach so hard with his open palm that I had a red handprint there for the rest of the day.”
One day he “...was rough and mean with me, flinging me and pushing me around. I could see the shocked looks on the faces of the other dances. So maybe this isn't normal behavior, I thought.” Derek Hough had to step in to work with her at that point.
In another rehearsal, she says Chmerkovskiy “wanted my head in a specific position. To achieve that, he slapped me across the face. Hard.”
She explained that she never brought it up at the time because she didn’t want to “end Maks' career” or be seen as a “prima donna.”
According to TMZ, Chmerkovskiy was shocked to hear this. Sources say that he could not believe what Solo wrote, especially since they have remained friends since the show ended. She even offered him seats at the Olympics.
He also sent out a cryptic tweet that read, “Always hated hypocrites and liars...but when someone is both AND an opportunist, I just feel bad for them. Can't win at someone's expense...”
Later, he wrote, “Life's best lessons are the ones that you smile through.....while they hurt you the most! I'm bullet proof....FIRE AWAY!”