‘DWTS’: Mark Ballas on Jaleel White Controversy: ‘Moments Get Heated’

Kym Johnson and Jaleel White (Photo: ABC)

Jaleel White is in a big “Dancing with the Stars” controversy after a web site claimed he got into a vicious fight with his dance partner Kym Johnson and another pro, Mark Ballas. The report also said Jaleel’s DWTS co-star, football player Donald Driver, tried to calm the former “Family Matters” star down during the confrontations.

And after the Monday night DWTS performance show, Mark didn’t deny that something had happened—but tried to downplay the alleged incident.

When asked about the story, Mark shrugged to reporters, “Moments get heated. This is a sport. With football, people get heated. With MMA [Mixed Martial Arts], people definitely get heated. With hockey, whatever sport you’re doing, people get heated. People love to exaggerate stuff. It’s fine. Everyone’s cool. It’s all good.”

Watch Jaleel White’s Ballroom Breakdown:

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Still, the longtime pro dancer, who is paired with front runner Katherine Jenkins, added, “This is a stressful experience. What I love about the show is it really is an emotional roller coaster. This is how to get to know your winner—is that you see them happy, you see them sad, you see them mad, you see them frustrated and then you see them proud when they overcome the obstacle and it wouldn’t be the show without the stress and frustration. It’s a journey.”

According to the report on the US Weekly Magazine website, Jaleel had a bad rehearsal session with Kym on Friday night. The US source said after Jaleel accidentally stepped on Kym’s foot and she said “ouch,” he flipped out on the dancer and called her an idiot. Kym then left in tears, the story said. Us Weekly’s insider claimed football player Donald tried to calm Jaleel down, but when it didn’t work — and the TV icon said that producers had matched him with a stupid partner — Mark confronted Jaleel himself and they got into a heated argument.

Mark didn’t specify what was exaggerated in the story, but said about US Weekly’s reporting from an unnamed source, “I hope they’re not paying their source because in this town, especially, coming from England myself, things in this town seem to get over-exaggerated. We were all there. We are standing in the same room right now. We’ve been in the same room together all night. We’re all friends. This is a great night. The lowest [dance] score was 24.”

After Monday night’s show, Donald also tried to brush aside Jaleel’s alleged DWTS meltdown. “I don’t have no beef with him. Me and him have a great relationship. I’ve known him for a long time. He’s a big Packer fan so I can’t lose that. I got to keep him close.”

Watch a Quick Recap of Monday’s Performances:

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Donald, a longtime fan of DWTS before he joined the show for Season 14, noted that partners often have conflicts on DWTS. “You’re going to have the hoots and hollers and yells and walk away but at the end of the day, you saw what people do. They come out and dance well.”

The US Weekly report came hot on the heels of Jaleel’s former girlfriend and mother of his child accusing him of being a cheater and abuser, charges he has staunchly denied.

Meanwhile, Jaleel had an emotional reaction after he and Kym finished their Monday night dance (for which the sitcom star got a strong score of 25), crying on camera as he talked about his kids and how much he wanted to entertain people. The actor and two-time DWTS champ Kym walked the red carpet together after the show and although they didn’t do interviews with most of the print press, they presented a united front for backstage reporters.

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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