Hope Solo: Maks Chmerkovskiy “hit my stomach,” “slapped me across the face. Hard.”

Olympic gold medalist and Dancing with the Stars 13 fourth-place contestant Hole Solo says that her partner on the ABC reality show, Maksim Chmerkovskiy, was so physically aggressive toward her during rehearsals that producers offered her a new partner.

In her new book Solo: A Memoir of Hope, Hope writes that Maks “was often nasty” and “manhandled me in rehearsals from the start, 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 she writes that during one rehearsal, Maks “wanted my head in a specific position. To achieve that, he slapped me across the face. Hard.”

USA TODAY’s story has other details from the book, including that the incident was filmed and shown to Maks, who “was extremely apologetic.” But Hope decided to stay with him even though producers offered her a new partner. “I didn’t want to end Maks’ career,” she writes.

That kind of physical violence should have led to his removal from the competition, and is unacceptable, but it’s a little odd for her to say that her rationale for keeping him as her partner was to protect his career, yet she turns around and writes about it in her memoir.

Maks hasn’t yet addressed the accusations directly, but tweeted yesterday, “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…” Early today, 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!”

Review: Married at First Sight

Marriage At First Sight

In an era of Tinder and Grindr, instant acceptance or dismissal of a potential partner, or instant sex with another body, Married at First Sight offers the thrill of watching strangers deal with the very basics of relationships.

Beyond the headline-grabbing premise, the series has turned out to be a stripped-down, authentic exploration of something very interesting. Read the full review.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.