Jaleel White on the Record About Abuse Claims
By BRYAN LYNN
April 04, 2012
ET's Nancy O'Dell sits down with Dancing with the Stars standout Jaleel White, who opens up about having to defend himself against claims of physical abuse by his ex girlfriend.
"This has been a hard week for me," White says, in reference to the aftermath of a tabloid article in which his ex-girlfriend Bridget Hardy claims the former star of the 90s sitcom Family Matters had been physically and verbally abusive during their relationship. Among other things, Hardy alleged that White had "hit me across the chest" and "pushed me into toilet."
White tells Nancy there was "zero" physical abuse during the relationship and says Hardy only came forth now due to his high visibility on the hit ABC dancing competition. He also pointed out that no charges were ever filed after Hardy first made the allegations in 2010.
Speaking about the verbal abuse claims, White says, "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. But to say verbal abuse, and to come out with that during Dancing with the Stars, when this is an old child custody case matter that was settled in 2010, this is not a new story. It was an attack on my joy."
White claims money could have been Hardy's motivation for coming forward with the story now. "She didn't ask me for money not to talk because I didn't give her a face-to-face." White says Hardy asked for a meeting at a coffee shop, but he demanded that communication be made via email. "I have to assume that that's what it's about -- if you're not going to put it in email form. That it's like, 'Hey here's my offer.'"
Watch the video for more of Nancy's interview with White, including his reaction to recent reports of rehearsal drama between him and his pro partner Kym Johnson.