TV personality Abby Lee Miller, is reportedly heartbroken after hearing her former “Dance Moms” star student, Maddie Ziegler, says she is “at peace” despite their strained relationship. She was the actress’s coach while Ziegler was still part of the dance show.
Ziegler was part of the original cast of “Dance Moms” and starred in the show for six seasons before leaving in 2016. Since leaving, she has modeled, acted, and even authored a dance-themed trilogy of books. She was a part of Sia’s directional debut, “Music,” and the Steven Spielberg adaptation of “West Side Story.”
Miller revealed that while most relationships couldn’t last forever, this one’s end broke her heart. She said that when Ziegler was on the show, the two of them were like family, and both made beautiful art together. The 56-year-old first posted a video discussing the situation and then spoke to TMZ about how she felt about her former student’s comments.
Miller Said Ziegler Didn’t Know What She Went Through
The “Dance Moms” maven was Ziegler’s coach on the show for years; however, the duo cut off communication after the 19-year-old left the show in 2016. While talking to TMZ, she said, “Spending hours, days, weeks, and years together in a crazy reality TV show environment, we became like family.”
Miller also questioned if Ziegler or her costars had any grasp on what the 56-year-old had gone through over the last couple of years. She continued, “I don’t think she realizes what I went through in prison, what I went through in the hospital, what chemo’s all about, what being in a wheelchair is like.”
While Ziegler seemed to have her past firmly behind her, Miller revealed that it wasn’t the same for her. “Sadly, it’s always the ones you do the most for that kick you in the can-can,” she added. “I hope someday I’m at peace with it all too.”
Miller Said Ziegler Never Signed A Contract
In a recently uploaded video on her YouTube channel, Miller addressed Ziegler’s comments, questioning why the actress stayed back on the show if she felt like the place was toxic. “What I don’t understand [about] the pressure, the ‘toxic’ situation—if it was so toxic, why did you keep doing it?” She asked.
Miller added that contrary to what Ziegler said, the children in the original cast of “Dance Moms” were not made to sign a contract. “Newsflash, the kids in the original cast never had a contract,” she said. “The moms had a contract, but the kids, well… they were just kind of there on a handshake. ”
The 56-year-old argued that if the model didn’t want to be on the show, she could have told her mom or talked to her about it. “I thought she wanted to be there… if she said, ‘I don’t want to go, I’m not going,’ kicking and screaming, stomping her feet, I’m sure her mother wouldn’t have brought her— or she would have come and talked to me about it. She never did that.”
Miller Said She Put Her Career On The Line For Ziegler
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Further on in the video, Miller mentioned that Ziegler was always “at home” when she came to her Pennsylvania studio because she was known by everyone there. “Now the world knows her name,” she added.
The 56-year-old referred to her former student as “a kid that I loved” and one that she used most of her resources to ensure that she could be on television. “I was fighting for everything for these kids to be the best that they could be on television.”
The “Dance Moms” coach also claimed that she encouraged Ziegler to get more opportunities and went as far as putting her job on the line to help the actress so she could work with Sia on her “Chandelier” video. “I know that what I did for Maddie, with Maddie, helped her succeed,” she said.
Ziegler Said She Felt ‘At Peace’
In a recent interview with Cosmopolitan, Ziegler talked about her time on “Dance Moms,” referring to the environment as “toxic.” She also recalled her time with Miller as a young dancer and how she felt after ceasing her contract with the 56-year-old.
“She was distraught [when I left],” the 19-year-old said. “For the longest time, we felt so guilty. She trained me, she helped me, but also, I knew I would be okay without her, and I was sick of being in a toxic environment.” Ziegler added, “I was like, ‘This is not for me. I can’t do this.’ I haven’t spoken to her since. I feel at peace.”
The model further revealed that she tried to leave the show for three seasons but wasn’t able to because of her contract. Ziegler said, “Don’t get me wrong—there’s drama regardless if there are cameras or not! But it was heightened. I started to feel like, ‘it’s so peaceful outside of this world. I can’t be in this.”
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