Cheryl Burke of 'Dancing With the Stars': I was molested
Cheryl Burke, a "Dancing With the Stars" professional dancer, recently revealed she was molested as a child by a retired mailman who was a family friend.
Burke, a 26-year-old California native, tells her story in her new book, "Dancing Lessons," which was co-authored by a People magazine writer and is set for release on February 14.
The abuse began when she was 5. The man who molested Burke would sometimes pick her up from school and do odd jobs around her parents' home, People reported. Burke testified against him in court after he was accused of targeting other children. He was sent to prison for almost 20 years.
"I felt guilty for wanting his love and affection," Burke said. "I saw his face and lawyers were asking me these questions and I was like, 'What am I doing? Did he even do anything wrong?' If I can help just one person, for me that's all that matters."
Burke has been dancing since she was 4 years old. She won two seasons of "Dancing With the Stars, ABC's hit ballroom dancing show, and her partners have included NFL player Chad Ochocinco, Las Vegas crooner Wayne Newton and actor and retired basketball player Rick Fox.
The 12th season of "Dancing With the Stars" is set to premiere in March. Its cast has not yet been announced.