Cheryl Burke Apologizes to Former 'Dancing With the Stars' Partner Ian Ziering for Past 'Nasty' Comments

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Cheryl Burke is apologizing to Ian Ziering. On the latest episode of her Pretty Messed Up podcast, the 36-year-old Dancing with the Stars pro expressed regret over past comments she made about the 57-year-old actor.

Burke and Ziering were partners during season four of DWTS in 2007, and ultimately came in fourth place. During a 2016 appearance on the Allegedly podcast, Burke said Ziering was her "least favorite" partner ever, saying that working with him "made me want to slit my wrists."

She did apologize for using "a phrase that seemingly makes light of suicide" at the time, though not to Ziering directly.

"The one thing that I feel like I truly regret and I want to make amends with is Ian Ziering," Burke said on her podcast. "I was completely out of line a few years ago. I did a podcast where they were asking me who my favorite partner was and who did I hate the most. I answered Ian Ziering, and I said something along the lines of 'I'd rather slit my wrists than dance with Ian Ziering again.'"

Burke acknowledged that there's "no excuse" for her comments "no matter if it was a joke or not." 

"I know it hurt him, and I know it hurt his family. It was a big deal," she said. "...I'm here to say sorry. I truly am so sorry for being so inconsiderate and just talking, trying to basically get a reaction and putting him as my punching bag, really."

"At the end of the day, when someone does Dancing With the Stars, especially a celebrity, they are already going on the show being vulnerable," Burke continued. "Just because we don't get along for a couple of days, I just took it to that next level of just nastiness. I was so nasty. And I'm here to publicly apologize to Ian and his family."

The dancer noted that she knows her comments hurt the former Beverly Hills, 90210 star because she heard about a conversation Ziering had with former DWTS pro Tony Dovolani after the fact.

"He was explaining to Tony how hurt he was and he didn't understand because he thought we were good," she said, before referencing her 2011 book, Dancing Lessons: How I Found Passion and Potential on the Dance Floor and in Life

"I even wrote great things about Ian Ziering in the book I wrote a long time ago," she said. "It must've come out of left field for him a little bit... I lost a lot of respect for myself when I said that. It haunts me till this day."

Burke noted that she hasn't "had the courage" to apologize to Ziering directly, before noting that her comments do not reflect "who I am."

"I'm not a malicious person and I never was, but I definitely did it for validity. But there's no excuse," she said. "I did it and I apologize."

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