“I felt the energy in the room change,” the 31-year-old DWTS vet told ET on Monday. “I’m really sensitive to that, honestly. I got really defensive, not just for Ryan, but for the ballroom, for the show.”
Hough shared that he “said some words” to the protesters.
“I basically told them aggressively that they need to leave because you don’t do that here,” he said. “And I think that they looked like fools because [Ryan] just did a great dance and he’s out there doing what he can do. We’re all human beings,."
Hough, who opened the DWTS season 23 premiere with a performance with his partner, Marilu Henner, continued to defend his DWTS castmate, whom he admitted he didn’t know “well.”
“All I know is we’ve all done stuff. We’ve all made mistakes. We’ve all done things and unfortunately, his was out in the open,” he said. “But you know what, let’s all be there for each other, man. Let’s have some passion and let’s actually forgive. Let’s move on. Let’s look to the future and not the past.”
“Honestly, it felt like someone just reached inside, took my heart out and tore it to shreds,” Lochte said. “I was really hurt when I saw that and I was in shock. But I looked at Cheryl [Burke] and she just smiled and said, ‘You just did what you said you can’t do. You danced in front of millions.’ And I was like, ‘You’re right.’” A BBC Worldwide Productions spokesperson addressed the incident in a statement on Monday night, saying, "Two individuals stormed the dance floor tonight and were immediately subdued and escorted out of the building. The matter is now being handled by the authorities."