Abby Lee Miller Calls Out 'Dance Moms' Families Who Abandoned Her While She Was in Prison (Exclusive)
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Abby Lee Miller is saying "shame on you" to the people who abandoned her while she was in prison. ET's Denny Directo spoke to Miller about her health, her new life in Santa Monica and why she's calling out a few Dance Moms families for their lack of support.
Miller plead guilty in 2016 to charges of bankruptcy fraud and bringing $120,000 worth of Australian currency into the country without reporting it. She was originally sentenced to a year and a day in prison, but her stay was cut short after eight months, due to ongoing health issues.
"Shame on you. Shame on you after what I did for you, for your children -- helped make you a lot of money. You couldn’t come to visit me for eight and a half months? You couldn’t send a card, a letter?" Miller asked of the Dance Moms families she worked with over the years.
"I was getting mail from children in other countries and somehow, twelve-and thirteen-year-old little girls were finding the address," she continued. "They were getting their cards and letters to me, and people here, that I taught their children before the television show -- they were very happy customers before Dance Moms and then during it, they were stars, they were making money, they were on top of the world -- and you’re just going to dump me?"
"It’s not hurtful anymore, because you realize real quick who your friends are," Miller added.
While Miller is no longer turning kids like JoJo Siwa into stars, she is critiquing and teaching dance over Zoom, telling ET, "I teach on Zoom all over the world, and I can critique and pick out everything. Last night, at 1:00 a.m, well not last night, but this morning, I was teaching a child in Australia, fine tuning every step that she did."
Miller's doing it all from her home in Santa Monica, where her health has been improving since her Burkitt lymphoma diagnosis and what Miller called "the failure of six doctors" landed her in a wheelchair.
While it's been a trying four years since her diagnosis, the former reality TV star said it's changed her perspective "immensely."
"I say please and thank you at least 100 times a day and to strangers. When you are in a store, and I get caught in between the clothing racks, getting poked in the eye by the edges of hangers, just dropping things on the floor, dropping my car keys in the parking lot. All of those things become a huge problem. They are problematic. It is an effort for me to bend over and try to pick something up off the floor. I can do it, but I have to lower my chair and lower my feet down and I have to lift up the arm rest. I have to bend over and try to grab it," Miller explained.
"I have such a respect for people that are handicap. I had no idea -- none before I was in the chair, and you see me out --- we bumped into each other at a concert, and I like I said, I go to dinner, I shop, I do this, I do that," she added.
But it's still tough for Miller behind closed doors, who said she's grateful for the kindness of strangers and those who have remained in her corner over the years.
"[I'm] thankful and grateful for the people in my life -- the people that stood by me through thick and thin, through all of this," she said. "I love them dearly, and for the strangers, there is an old Irish proverb when you need a favor ask a stranger. People have been wonderful to me."
While Miller said she still holds some resentment towards the doctors whose care she was in the last four years, she is channeling her energy into doing good. Miller is part of a GoFundMe campaign to help feed hungry children. In partnership with celebrity chef, Bruno Serato, Caterina's Club is feeding thousands of children daily.
"When I found out about Caterina's Club and what Bruno Serato was doing, I had to be a part of it," Miller gushed. "Gloria Gaynor's involved, there’s a lot of housewives that are involved, and what better thing to do. What better charity could I be involved in than feeding children?"
As for how people can get involved, Miller said she'll be posting a link on her Instagram and also pointed to Caterina's Club and Serato for resources.
"I’m going to be posting on my Instagram, and they can go there and there’s a link, so that they can go right to it and get involved," she continued. "There’s also Caterina's Club, there’s Bruno Serato, there’s a lot of ways you can find out about it."
For just $5, Miller said, the charity can feed a family of four.
"And kids that take my class, the kids that got money in their Easter basket, for five dollars you can feed a family of four," Miller added. "Now as a little kid, nine to ten years old, how can you take a family of four out to dinner yourself? This is the way you can."
For more on Miller including what else she has to say about her Dance Mom alums, check out the video below.
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