'I'm Not Flirting': Maks Chmerkovskiy Recalls Arguing With Kirstie Alley Over His Actions During DWTS

Ukrainian Choreographer Maks Chmerkovskiy recalls a DWTS dispute with American actress Kirstie Alley, addressing flirting allegations during their tenure on the show. In an exclusive interview, Maks Chmerkovskiy denies the claims, unveiling the tense exchange behind the scenes. Here’s what you need to know so far.

Published on Mar 31, 2024  |  11:08 PM IST |  39.7K
Maks Chmerkovskiy Recalls Arguing With Kirstie Alley Over His Actions During DWTS
Maks Chmerkovskiy denies flirting in DWTS spat (PC: YouTube)

Ukrainian Choreographer Maksim Chmerkovskiy recalls a disagreement with American actress Kirstie Alley during their time on Dancing with the Stars. In an exclusive preview of Getting Grilled with Curtis Stone, Chmerkovskiy shares how Alley, who passed away in December 2022 at 71, misunderstood their proximity during rehearsals as flirtation.

“She said, You're so flirty,” he explains. "I felt panicked, not knowing what to do. She accused me, You're so flirty.  I responded that I was not flirting with you. Confused, I asked, Where's my hand? She said, On my butt.”

The former DWTS contestant clarified to the late actress that his hand placement was based on her centre of gravity.

Maks Chmerkovskiy explained, “It's where your centre of gravity is so I can safely guide your movements. My hands aren't on your shoulders, or you'd lose balance. I need to be strategic. Where do you think my hand should be?"

“She says, You're being rude. I respond by explaining what I'm doing. Just because it's a new hand placement doesn't mean it's flirting. If we don't talk about it, she might think I'm flirting during the dance. I'm not! I'm just trying to make it look like a rumba.”

ALSO READ: The Inspirational Story of Kirstie Alley’s Weight Loss Journey

Maks Chmerkovskiy and Kristie Alley: DWTS partners in seasons 12 and 15

Maks Chmerkovskiy and  Golden Globe award winner Kristie Alley teamed up for DWTS in seasons 12 and 15. Their partnership spanned the regular season and the all-stars edition.


After her passing in December 2022 at 71 from cancer, the dancer paid tribute to Alley on Instagram with a heartfelt post and a dance floor photo.

“You were truly exceptional, bringing immense brightness to my life," he wrote, reflecting on their cherished moments. "As memories flood back, I can't help but smile, though I recall how you'd dislike tears. I remember your request for what I'd say at your funeral, but I'm not sure I can express it fully here."

Maks Chmerkovskiy and Kirstie Alley's bond soured post-DWTS in February 2022 when he confronted her about tweets regarding the Ukraine war.

"I'm unsure what's true or false in this war," she tweeted. "I'll refrain from commenting and offer prayers instead."

ALSO READ: What Is Maks Chmerkovskiy's Net Worth? Exploring The New So You Think You Can Dance Judge's Fortune

Maks Chmerkovskiy slams Kirstie Alley's Ukraine war comments

Maks Chmerkovskiy, born in Ukraine and present during the Russian invasion, publicly criticized Alley's remarks in a deleted tweet, which he later shared on Instagram.

"We haven't talked lately, but I recall being by your side during Hurricane Sandy, organizing aid trucks. I remember your passion for helping those in need," he wrote, sharing a screenshot of her tweet. "That same passion is needed now. Prayers alone aren't enough when uncertain about what's happening."

In his December 2022 Instagram post honouring Alley, Chmerkovskiy hinted at the depth of their friendship beyond public view.

"Some parts of our connection are widely known, while much remains private. It's been a rollercoaster ride," he wrote, regretfully not speaking more often. "Thank you for everything. I love you, Kirstie Alley."

"Each chapter is titled after an art," she explained. " Maks Chmerkovskiy has a chapter named The Art of Maks because he's in a league of his own. He's truly special.

Despite their differences, Maks Chmerkovskiy made a lasting impact on Alley. In 2012, the actress told PEOPLE that her memoir The Art of Men (I Prefer Mine al Dente) was about how men have influenced my life.

ALSO READ: The Traitors Season 2: See who’s been eliminated and who survived

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Shivangi Prajapati is a writer by profession and passion. With her extensive research, she loves breaking down complex information,



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