'DWTS' Pro Lacey Schwimmer Says Maksim Chmerkovskiy's Comments About Her Weight 'Broke My Spirit'

The dancer spoke out in a candid interview on Cheryl Burke's 'Sex, Lies and Spray Tans' podcast.

Lacey Schwimmer is recounting the body shaming she says she experienced while working as a pro dancer on Dancing With the Stars. In a candid interview on Cheryl Burke's Sex, Lies and Spray Tans podcast, the two women responded to a series of 2008 comments about their weight that were made in the press by two of their male co-stars. 

"Oh my God, it ruined me," Schwimmer said, referring to unflattering quotes made about her by Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Louis van Amstel at the time. "I remember crying and crying and crying." 

Schwimmer shared that she wore a size 6 and weighed 138 pounds at the time when Chmerkovskiy -- referring to her and Burke -- reportedly told TV Guide, "When I saw these women this season, I said, 'Guys, you know the camera adds 10 pounds. You have to do something about this.'" 

van Amstel reportedly told the outlet: "People look at this show to be inspired and think, 'If I just work hard enough, I can look like that'... They watch someone who's dancing her butt off and she's still heavy, they can be discouraged. You have to take responsibility." 

After Burke read the quotes back to her, Schwimmer retorted that "no one should ever, ever discredit somebody based off of their appearance. I don't care if you're skinny, fat, whatever. Ugly face, busted teeth -- I don't care what you look like. It has nothing to do with your talent or ability of what you are hired to do." 

She went on to clarify, "It's not Maks' or Louis' fault -- I'll never do that to them," but suggests that their remarks were the product of a wider ethos in the dance community as a whole and "a different time." 

"The dance community prior to 10 years, I would say, has been very backwards in that thinking that a healthy body is a very thin one where you can see the bones in their chest or the back muscles, you can see every tendon," she explained. "And, to me, that is not healthy. That is just awful. It is not realistic, it is not sustainable." 

Schwimmer, who was 19 at the time she began working on Dancing With the Stars, said being subjected to public ridicule from "people that I've looked up to" was devastating. 

"It literally broke my spirit," she shared. 

Moreover, she said that Chmerkovskiy and van Amstel's quotes opened the floodgates of commentary from fans and the press. 

"Ever since that first quote from Maks and Louis, that let everybody else be able to have an opinion of what I looked like," she said. "I knew that there was pressure about my body." 

Kelsey McNeal/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images

A source tells ET, "Maks already publicly apologized on Cheryl's podcast for his past remarks made 15 years ago. This apology took place on Cheryl’s podcast in September."

"However, Cheryl still brought it up to Lacy during this recent podcast only a month later."

The source adds that it "doesn’t feel fair to rehash this situation. He already apologized to her face. Feels like it was below the belt."

Schwimmer starred on Dancing With the Stars from 2008 to 2011 and was partnered with Lance Bass, Steve-O, Mark Dacascos, Kyle Massey, Mike Catherwood, and Chaz Bono during her tenure. She came in third place with Bass during season 7 and finished as the runner-up with Massey in season 11. 

In a 2011 interview with ET following her and Bono's elimination, which ended up being her final outing with the series, she lambasted the judges for making disparaging remarks about her celebrity partner. 

"I think a lot of [Bruno Tonioli's] comments are inappropriate," she told ET with overwhelming emotion. "I think he should think twice before he starts judging people upon what they look like rather than what they're dancing."

She continued, "I think the judges are not necessarily judging on dancing anymore. I don't know when that trend started becoming more and more popular, but it is what it is, and you've got to take this show for what it is, and we had a great time doing it."

Dancing With the Stars is currently in its 32nd season, airing Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC and Disney+.