March 16, 2012 at 1:41 PM ET
On Thursday, "Dancing With the Stars" contestant Sherri Shepherd denied an accusation that she'd cheated ahead her upcoming stint on the show by preparing for it before last month's cast announcement.
Shepherd told her co-hosts on "The View" that she merely loved to dance.
“When I was younger, I took classes at the YMCA, the Learning Annex … I took a pole dancing class,” Shepherd joked. “I still make money on that.”
Jokes aside, Shepherd was quick to point out the fact the original Radar Online report, which has since been deleted from the site, misidentified her pro dancing partner as Maksim Chmerkovskiy, when it is actually his younger brother Val, and that she and her partner had never danced together before rehearsals. For that matter, she added that she and Maks had never danced together before, either.
The 44-year-old comedian and talk show host further explained she had once taken a “handful of classes at Maks’ studio” out of personal interest long before her negotiations with “Dancing with the Stars” began.
Added Shepherd, “I’m glad I did, because it showed me if I was up for this challenge. …I’m 169 pounds, I’m diabetic and I’m pigeon-toed. Y’all do not want me falling out on that dance floor.”
Shepherd’s statement was meant to address Radar's claim that the entertainer had been practicing months ahead of her fellow castmates and competitors, after she was allegedly seen at a studio in Hollywood in early December working with Maks.
According to an anonymous eyewitness for Radar Online, “She had her dance shoes with her and was dressed in workout gear. I saw them dancing together.”
Shepherd retweeted this note from her real dancing partner, Val, on Thursday, “If you don't got 5 haters by the end of the week, you doing something wrong"... Damn I must be doing something right! #keepitmovin.”
See what Shepherd and the rest of the "Dancing" stars can do when the ballroom bash returns to ABC on Monday, March 19 at 8 p.m. ET.
Do you believe the hoofer hopeful never took a turn with either of the Chmerkovskiy brothers before the cast announcement? Share your thoughts on our Facebook page.