Louis van Amstel is attempting to clear the air.
In a recent episode of Cheryl Burke‘s podcast, Sex, Lies, and Spray Tans, van Amstel addressed the allegations of body shaming made against him. It all started when on Burke’s podcast when she and Lacey Schwimmer recalled comments Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Louis allegedly made during an interview.
“People look at this show to be inspired and think, ‘If I just work hard enough, I can look like that.’ …They watch someone who’s dancing her butt off and she’s still heavy, they can be discouraged. You have to take responsibility,” van Amstel allegedly said of the two women at the time.
Schwimmer said that her co-worker’s comments “ruined” her, but van Amstel insisted that he never said that.
van Amstel, who claims not to have heard Lacey’s recount of the alleged body shaming on Burke’s podcast, responded to Cheryl reading him her comments. Louis stated, “Well, passive-aggressively she is blaming us, but I am going to say it again on record, I never ever even mentioned your name or Lacey’s name when I did an interview.”
van Amstel continued to explain that the controversy likely arose from misinterpretations and rumors circulating in the media. He emphasized that he would never engage in body shaming, citing his work with partners including three-time world champion Julie Fryer, who defied conventional expectations about dancers’ body types.
“They all took it from someone else, and once the ball is rolling, the snowball gets bigger and bigger really fast, especially if it’s juicy,” van Amstel stated, highlighting the sensational nature of such allegations. He reiterated his commitment to promoting positive body image and shared his pride in Burke for addressing the issue publicly in the past.
van Amstel revealed that the controversy originated from an interview he did with journalist Monica Rizzo in 2008 during Dancing With the Stars’ summer tour. According to van Amstel, Rizzo asked about the body shaming accusations against Maks Chmerkovskiy and others. van Amstel clarified that he merely spoke about the challenges of maintaining a healthy lifestyle during the demanding tour schedule, emphasizing that he never mentioned Burke or Schwimmer specifically.
“So we talk, and when she shared with me she wanted a reply from me and all I said was, and I still remember it because I pulled myself in, all of us, we all put on weight during the summer tour because we danced at 8 p.m. and we don’t want to eat before we go on stage so we had this bus ride, then you start eating at the wrong times,” he said.
The 51-year-old continued, “I use myself as an example. I would eat steak and fries at 2 a.m. in my hotel room or I would skip breakfast because I would wake up at noon, things like that. I never mentioned your name and because I mentioned anything they just pulled in my name to that whole thing that was happening apparently with Maks and other people that were body shaming you and Lacey.”
Burke, in response, acknowledged van Amstel’s perspective and forgave him, stating, “I love you. Like I said at the top of this interview, I forgive you whether you said it or not. It doesn’t matter. There’s no hard feelings with me, just so you know.”