Cheryl Burke is opening up about her first-hand encounter with domestic violence as a teenager. The Dancing With the Stars pro opened up about her difficult high school relationship in a sneak peek of Wednesday's episode of Red Table Talk, shocking the panel as she revealed she was "whipped" by her high school ex.
"Not to get too graphic, but in high school – I'll never forget, the person I was with on and off for about four years whipped me with a belt," Burke shared in a sneak peek of the Facebook Watch show. "And I had bruises all over my legs." She continued, "I remember his parents were watching it, didn't do anything. And it wasn't like he was hitting me, he was whipping me."
Cheryl Burke's Shocking Story of Abuse
Dancing with the Stars' Cheryl Burke reveals a disturbing incident from her past. Check out Red Table Talk on Wednesday for more of Cheryl's harrowing story.Posted by Red Table Talk on Monday, October 31, 2022
Burke has previously spoken out about her experiences with abuse, sharing in the 2015 documentary Breaking the Silence that she had suffered sexual abuse by an older neighbor who would watch her when she was just 5 years old. "He would cuddle me, he would make me watch pornographic videos. He was kind of like that fatherly figure – I think he knew my weakness, that I was very insecure. He knew that no one was ever around," she recalled in the documentary. Burke would go on to testify against the neighbor in court after he attempted to molest one of her friends, resulting in him being sentenced to 20 years in prison.
The Dance Moms alum, who recently finalized her divorce from husband Matthew Lawrence, previously opened up about how her marriage to the Boy Meets World was the only relationship that "did not fit this abusive pattern" she had experienced. "He is the complete opposite of everything bad about my past relationships," she said in a 2020 YouTube video. "I think when I look back on this time in my life, I could sit here and say that I wish these things had never happened to me, but I look at it now as every part of my story has helped me to become the woman I am today." Red Table Talk airs Wednesdays at 12 p.m. ET on Facebook Watch.
If you or someone you know is dealing with domestic abuse, the National Domestic Violence Hotline has a 24-hour helpline at 1-800-799-7233 or go to thehotline.org. All calls are toll-free and confidential.