“I had a situation with a partner where it got to the point where we couldn’t be alone in a room without people watching,” Burgess, 38, explained on the “Sex, Lies, and Spray Tans” podcast on Tuesday, September 26, after host Cheryl Burke mentioned her recent comments about her DWTS partner “after” season 28’s Bobby Bones. (Burgess didn’t say Metcalfe’s name on her podcast with Burke, but called their season 29 partnership “really difficult” earlier this month.)
Burgess went on to offer more context about navigating the alleged tension with Metcalfe, 44.
“This was [during] COVID and we didn’t have everyone watching all the cameras all the time. We were scaling back on our crew. Some rehearsals weren’t watched or recorded,” she explained. “That was a difficult situation for me. I went through the proper channels and unfortunately I wasn’t able to record everything, but I was able to record some things and I did go to the proper people and there were reports made and I was taken care of.”
Burgess clarified that the situation “was not sexual in any nature.”
Burke, 39, however, pointed out that Burgess feeling uncomfortable was enough of a reason to speak up. In response, Burgess thanked her for the support, adding, “I did the right thing and I went to the right people and I spoke up and I was able to do my job and not live in shame or fear.”
Burgess joined the ABC series as a professional dancer during season 16 and was paired off with various celebrities including Andy Dick, Nick Carter, Antonio Brown, Bones, Metcalfe and then-boyfriend (and now-fiancé) Brian Austin Green.
Earlier this month, Burgess alluded to “really difficult” tension with Metcalfe. “I wasn’t able to be in the room alone with him after the first couple of weeks because of things that happened. That was rocky and we were eliminated very quickly,” she said on her “Oldish” podcast without mentioning the actor’s name.
A rep for Metcalfe issued a statement shortly after her comments made headlines, which read, “If she is referring to a time where our client Jesse Metcalfe worked with Ms. Burgess four years ago, the only recollection was that they didn’t get along. Vague insinuations are not only reckless but also irrelevant.”
During Tuesday’s podcast, Burgess discussed how she has become more outspoken about potential problems on the dance floor.
“I have in the past had two partners that made me feel very, very uncomfortable. At the time I was much younger and I would laugh it up and suck it up and I would make it OK,” she detailed. “This is going back years and years. This was before. I have grown and learned my lesson and I am not alone in this experience.”
Burgess continued: “When you get on a show like Dancing With the Stars and it is men and women dancing together and you have close contact while creating these stories and intentions, wires can get crossed. But I learned over the years how to squash that and make sure that wouldn’t happen again.”
The prior incident, which happened early in Burgess’ career, took her by surprise because she didn’t know how to properly address the issue. After a partner started to flirt with her, Burgess turned him down and he grew frustrated that she didn’t reciprocate his advances.
Burgess said she confided in a producer who allegedly told her to play along. “[They said], ‘You know what men are like,'” she added. “I learned during and after Me Too, women coming forward and saying, from the big to the little things. I was like, ‘Holy s—t, that happened to me.’ I didn’t even realize that I could speak up about it.”