I’m sure that many of you saw the excerpts from Hope’s book tweeted by @DWTSGossip yesterday. While it appears that we cover every single thing DWTS related, we actually don’t. We tend to stay far away from pure, unadulterated, unsubstantiated gossip, particularly when it involves private lives or people’s livelihoods. So, when Vogue read those pages, she asked me what to do about it. I took it to the group and we here are PureDWTS had a bit of discussion on just what to do about it.
The end result of that discussion was that we would give our *opinions* on what we read, but we would not be re-posting those pages for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is the potential for copyright infringement. If you must read them, by all means, go buy the book. We do have limits on just what we will post, but as this book speaks directly to DWTS production we figured we would at least comment on it. I’m up first. And I don’t quite know where to start. Except that I would remind everyone to remember that this is HOPE’S point of view and Maks has not been given the opportunity to respond OR defend himself. He has responded, somewhat, on Twitter and as you might imagine he is not happy at all, and he does give the impression that this is all lies by an “opportunist”. (See Notes at bottom.)
I am not a Maks fan, but I don’t think he’s a horrible human being or any such thing. He’s flawed, like most people are. I think that we have to assume that much of what Hope said about their interaction is true…to a point. After all, we saw some of it on camera. And she does say that they had plenty of good times that, of course, weren’t shown. I have to say, though, that Maks knows that by now and should have warned Hope accordingly. Instead he plays into productions hands time and again and then whines about it. On top of that, most everyone who is a regular at this site knows that I was appalled by his behavior that was shown at the time. Nothing makes that right. And if he actually hit her like she claims?? There is no excuse for that. But I would be lying if there wasn’t a large part of me that really wondered about the veracity of a lot of her comments. How much is inflated to sell her book…and get us talking just like we are?
Part of the reason I wonder such things is that some of her claims are so outlandish. As we have discussed many times on this site, the show can’t be rigged the way she says that Maks told her…that he had been told that there was a “secret memo” that said who was to be eliminated each week, and that they were going home so he was just causing drama to get ratings and get them to stick around longer. That may have been the end result…but it’s not determined in advance. There are rules in reality TV, believe it or not. Then all her claims that they were dancing a dance that was so much better and so much harder than everyone else’s, that no one else could do it. Um, really? I don’t remember that dance at all. If Maks was actually telling her that, he’s either delusional, or trying to build her confidence – and based on the whole section about where it looked like she was saying “F*^k you” to the judges I would have to say the latter.
What is up with her claim that Maks watched the video and they talked and decided to continue, yet “Whitney” asked to see it and was told it doesn’t exist – what is she trying to get at there? That they destroyed the evidence or something? Sounds weird – and unlikely. Also, at the risk of sounding like I’m blaming the woman…why on earth would you assume that Maks’ behavior was okay and just “how it was done”?? In what universe is that okay? And you’re not married to him – you can walk away. No, I’m not excusing it, just wondering how much revisionist history is at work here on Hope’s part. Really, the only reason you stuck it out was because you would be spun to look bad in the media? REALLY?? Frankly, I don’t know what to think at this point. I know Maks behaved badly, but that badly?? And why is Hope the only person that had this serious of an issue with Maks in all his many seasons?? Again, I’m not a Maks fan – but this does seem rather opportunistic to me. Clearly, from Maks’ recent tweets re: the Olympics, he thought they were friends. Mistake.
Well, I’m going to ask my cohorts to contribute, provided that they’ve read the excerpts before @DWTSGossip pulled them down after getting a bunch of flack. Some from Lizzie Grubman who called her “mean”. Come on, Lizzie, @DWTSGossip didn’t write the book. You’re shooting the messenger. I don’t know what else to say. Maybe I will think of something, based on what they say.
Additional Heidi Notes: The above was written yesterday afternoon, before Maks had his say at both TMZ and Hollywood Gossip – and as hard as some of you may find this to believe, I tend to believe that the slap didn’t happen. Hope’s story just has too many crazy things in it. The problem for Maks, unfortunately, is that just enough of it is true to make the rest of it seem plausible. The best lies, after all, are those mixed in with a bunch of truth. What behavior WAS shown on DWTS aids and abets Hope’s version of the truth. Lots of people may learn serious lessons from this – DWTS producers, who I doubt intended this, and Maks himself.
Courtney: Admittedly, due to the last 48 hours being a bit hectic for me (my mother had surgery), I only was able to speed-read through a portion of what DWTSGossip posted – but I got the general gist of it, and that seems to be that Hope out for attention/sympathy/revenge/money/take your pick. Like Heidi, I am admittedly not a Maks fan – but I also don’t think he’s nearly as bad as Hope seems hellbent on painting him out to be. Yes, maybe Maks wasn’t at his best in season 13 – but I daresay Hope wasn’t exactly the model contestant, either, and I do find it interesting that they went from being this united, indignant front during the week they were eliminated (and all the way up through her Olympic victory last week), to her throwing him under the proverbial bus in this book…and then backing the bus up, running over him again, lather, rinse, repeat. The shove we saw during the team paso doble practice was hard to watch – but Maks did apologize, and I think in the end he even was shocked at his own behavior and felt really bad about it. As for this other alleged “slap” Hope talks about – methinks the lady doth hyperbolize too much. Dancing is a very physical, hands-on activity – I have had many a coach forcefully shove my shoulders down when they were creeping up too high, place my feet into the correct position, and yes, even adjust my head position. I can see how the very hands-on “head adjustment” could be very tempting to exaggerate into a “slap”, especially if the general theme of one’s book is overcoming adversity. You can’t overcome adversity if you don’t have an adversary – so apparently Hope felt the need to fabricate one. I read a few other excerpts from other chapters in the book and from what I can tell, Hope seems to vacillate between telling everyone how “tough” she is, to painting herself as a hopeless victim in a sea of villains. Sure, you can go on and on about how many challenges you’ve overcome in your life, and how everyone’s “out to get you” – but at what point do you entertain the notion that the recurring theme in each one of these interactions is YOU, Hope?
Vogue: What a bombshell…and wow, right before the season starts…seems so convenient, hmmm?! I’m not a big Hope Solo fan so it might be hard for me to see this clearly? She’s outed her former coach in her new book as “shoving her” too, etc. If you go to this link, you’ll see how she’s been known for this type of behavior in the past (which we learned in Season 13). She was also on Access Hollywood yesterday talking of “her way” and her “painful past” while promoting the book. Well, I’m sorry, we’ve all had painful things in our past happen, that doesn’t give a person permission or the right to sling dirt and out them the ways she has. Regardless of what Maks or the show did, Hope should have “risen above” and kept quiet. It’s always best to take the ‘high road’ and let people make up their own minds. But, with this new book, I’ve made up my mind even more now. She’s joined the ranks of Bristol Palin and Kate Gosselin regarding lowest of the lows. I also have a hard time believing Maks slapped her in such a way as she has described too. As Heidi said, Maks may have his issues at times, but, he’s not “that bad”. Plus, his friends standing up for him in Season 13 speak for themselves. For example, remember how Derek stood up for him during Season 13 with the “my show” comments, etc.? That alone tells me Maks is not that bad. Plus, if Maks was really “that bad” as she writes, why would the show keep him on the show as he would be a huge liability factor? Poor Maks and he was just rallying his twitter followers to support her at the Olympics. SAD!!! I hope she’s happy now? I would not one to live with that kind of karma. Onward march Dancing With The Stars and Maksim Chmerkovskiy!!
Heidi: Of course, reading what Vogue wrote, and re-reading what I wrote, I feel compelled to say that we sort of sound like the people who typically excuse abusers. He’s “not that bad”….”she should have kept quiet”…and just being generally disbelieving of Hope. As a woman, it goes against everything in me to appear to be making excuses for a man who is on video behaving badly and I REALLY don’t like the phrase “she should have kept quiet”. But I can’t get past the fact that there was just so much of what she wrote that is just delusional bullshit. That makes it hard for me to believe anything she says. Not to mention that we aren’t talking a marriage – we’re talking dance partners. Some asshole treats you in a way you don’t like, you tell the boss. Or you quit and tell the world. At the time…not many months later when trying to sell a book. So, if that makes me a disgrace to womankind, I guess I will have to live with it. I’m not some simpering Maks fan looking for ways out – I don’t even LIKE Maks very much. But I do think he’s getting some unwarranted crap here, and I gotta call it like I see it. Hope seems to have more of a pattern here than Maks does, frankly.
Vogue: I didn’t mean that Hope should excuse an abuser. What I mean about keeping quiet, Miss Heidi, is that Hope shouldn’t have written a book to out Maks in. If she had issues and if it’s true, she should have addressed him on it or an authority figure. She shouldn’t have made it public in a book the way as she did.
Courtney: I realize we’re probably going to catch flak for giving the appearance of “defending the abuser” by some who can’t be bothered to actually READ what we’ve written, but in this case I find it very hard to side with Hope – just too much bullshit, “poor, innocent, perfect little me” bullshit being spun in this book. I fully acknowledge that Maks shoved Hope on camera during the team practice – but this nonsense she spews about some huge cover-up by TPTB over an alleged slap? And the claim that she was offered another partner, but declined? Just makes Hope look altogether foolish & vindictive to me.
UPDATE: The Huffington Post has a new article up today mentioning that Maks and the show are considering legal actions against Hope Solo for the claims in her book. More below and be sure you read the full story at the link. Note that a colleague says Hope is “standing behind what she wrote and has no intention of issueing an apology.” Thanks to @DWTSgossip for heads up on this news:
Maksim Chmerkovskiy says he is shocked and hurt by the accusations made against him by his former “Dancing With the Stars” partner Hope Solo. He said he has made it clear to friends that he was never physically abusive to the Olympic champion, despite Hope’s claims against him in her controversial memoir, “Solo: A Memoir of Hope.”
“Maks is one of the nicest guys in the world. This is 100 percent not true,” a source close to the show told me. “At the moment, Maks and ABC are not making any public statements, as they are considering legal options. Not only did Hope not tell the truth in the book, she also signed a contract with the producers of ‘DWTS’ and could be in breach of contract.”