Val Chmerkovskiy: ‘Devastated’ Lara Spencer called me after ballet backlash

Moving on. Val Chmerkovskiy was one of many professional dancers to take to social media following Lara Spencer’s recent comment on Good Morning America when she appeared to mock Prince George for taking ballet classes. The Dancing With the Stars pro, 33, wrote a long Instagram post on August 23 with a story and the hashtag “BoysDanceToo.”

However, he doesn’t hold a grudge against the TV host, 50, he told Us Weekly exclusively in a new interview — especially since she called him personally to apologize.

“I’m not defending her by any stretch of the imagination but she definitely reached out to the dance community, myself included,” he said on Thursday, September 5. “She called me and she was so devastated by the reaction and by what she’d done and she owned up to it and she apologized. I don’t think her intentions were to belittle his love for ballet."

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Val Chmerkovskiy and Jenna Johnson together
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Val Chmerkovskiy and Jenna Johnson together
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - AUGUST 14: Val Chmerkovskiy and Jenna Johnson-Chmerkovskiy attend the 2019 Industry Dance Awards at Avalon Hollywood on August 14, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - AUGUST 14: Val Chmerkovskiy and Jenna Johnson-Chmerkovskiy attend the 2019 Industry Dance Awards at Avalon Hollywood on August 14, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
WESTWOOD, CALIFORNIA - JULY 08: Val Chmerkovskiy and Jenna Johnson attend the Monster Energy $50K Charity Challenge Celebrity Basketball Game at UCLA's Pauley Pavilion on July 08, 2019 in Westwood, California. (Photo by Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 6: Jenna Johnson and Val Chmerkovskiy attend Ballet Hispánico's CARNAVAL Gala 2019 at The Plaza Hotel on May 6, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Patrick McMullan/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
ST LUCIA, SAINT LUCIA - APRIL 23: Dancing with The Stars champions and newlyweds Val Chmerkovskiy and Jenna Johnson spend their honeymoon at the luxurious Sandals Grande St. Lucian resort on April 23, 2019 in St Lucia, Saint Lucia. (Photo by John Parra/Getty Images for Sandals)
ST LUCIA, SAINT LUCIA - APRIL 23: Dancing with The Stars champions and newlyweds Val Chmerkovskiy and Jenna Johnson spend their honeymoon at the luxurious Sandals Grande St. Lucian resort on April 23, 2019 in St Lucia, Saint Lucia. (Photo by John Parra/Getty Images for Sandals)
ST LUCIA, SAINT LUCIA - APRIL 23: Dancing with The Stars champions and newlyweds Val Chmerkovskiy and Jenna Johnson spend their honeymoon at the luxurious Sandals Grande St. Lucian resort on April 23, 2019 in St Lucia, Saint Lucia. (Photo by John Parra/Getty Images for Sandals)
ST LUCIA, SAINT LUCIA - APRIL 23: Dancing with The Stars champions and newlyweds Val Chmerkovskiy and Jenna Johnson spend their honeymoon at the luxurious Sandals Grande St. Lucian resort on April 23, 2019 in St Lucia, Saint Lucia. (Photo by John Parra/Getty Images for Sandals)
ST LUCIA, SAINT LUCIA - APRIL 23: Dancing with The Stars champions and newlyweds Val Chmerkovskiy and Jenna Johnson spend their honeymoon at the luxurious Sandals Grande St. Lucian resort on April 23, 2019 in St Lucia, Saint Lucia. (Photo by John Parra/Getty Images for Sandals)
ST LUCIA, SAINT LUCIA - APRIL 23: Dancing with The Stars champions and newlyweds Val Chmerkovskiy and Jenna Johnson spend their honeymoon at the luxurious Sandals Grande St. Lucian resort on April 23, 2019 in St Lucia, Saint Lucia. (Photo by John Parra/Getty Images for Sandals)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JANUARY 15: Dancers Valentin Chmerkovskiy (L) and Jenna Johnson perform during Dancing with the Stars: Live! A Night To Remember - New York, New York at Radio City Music Hall on January 15, 2019 in New York, New York. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 20: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) (L-R) Dancer Val Chmerkovskiy and Jenna Johnson visit the SiriusXM studios on November 20, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images)
HUNTSVILLE, ALABAMA - DECEMBER 19: Val Chmerkovskiy and Jenna Johnson of "Dancing with the Stars" perform onstage at Von Braun Center on December 19, 2018 in Huntsville, Alabama. (Photo by Jessica Sigmon Wallace/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 15: Jenna Johnson (L) and Valentin Chmerkovskiy attend the 2018 Industry Dance Awards at Avalon Hollywood on August 15, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Phillip Faraone/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - AUGUST 07: Val Chmerkovskiy and Jenna Johnson attend the premiere of Warner Bros. Pictures' "Crazy Rich Asiaans" at TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX on August 7, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - AUGUST 16: Professional Dancers Val Chmerkovskiy and Jenna Johnson attend the 2017 Industry Dance Awards and Cancer Benefit show at Avalon on August 16, 2017 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic)
D23 EXPO 2017 - Friday, July 14, 2017 - The Ultimate Disney Fan Event - brings together all the worlds of Disney under one roof for three packed days of presentations, pavilions, experiences, concerts, sneak peeks, shopping, and more. The event, which takes place July 14-16 at the Anaheim Convention Center, provides fans with unprecedented access to Disney films, television, games, theme parks, and celebrities. Image Group LA via Getty Images JENNA JOHNSON, VALENTIN CHMERKOVSKIY
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The 14-time U.S. National Latin Dance champion also noted that he can relate to being bullied in middle school for being a dancer, so he chooses to focus on the positive conversation that came after Spencer’s comments rather than the controversy.

“I told her this too, out of this, came this entire community coming together and celebrating male dancers,” he said. “I appreciated that more than I focused on my discourse toward Lara. I know the type of person she is. … Why aren’t we celebrating male dancers without Lara, the controversy? But it’s nice how it all came around. There was a backlash, there was a conversation, then there was a resolution.”

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Lara Spencer out and about
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Lara Spencer out and about
GOOD MORNING AMERICA - Ginger Zee and Lara Spencer on 'Good Morning America,' Tuesday, December 5, 2017, airing on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Lou Rocco/ABC via Getty Images) LARA SPENCER, GINGER ZEE
GOOD MORNING AMERICA - Barbara Corcoran of ABC's 'Shark Tank' is a guest on 'Good Morning America,' Tuesday, November 28, 2017, airing on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Heidi Gutman/ABC via Getty Images) BARBARA CORCORAN, LARA SPENCER
PHILADELPHIA, PA - NOVEMBER 23: Television personality Lara Spencer attends the 98th Annual 6abc/Dunkin' Donuts Thanksgiving Day Parade on November 23, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 14: Lara Spencer is seen taping Cash Cab in Midtown on November 14, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Raymond Hall/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 19: Lara Spencer attends the Forbes Media Centennial Celebration at Pier 60 on September 19, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Taylor Hill/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 06: Television personality Lara Spencer leaves the 'Good Morning America' taping at the ABC Times Square Studios on September 06, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Ray Tamarra/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 24: Chef Masaharu Morimoto and Lara Spencer attend the Citi VIP Lounge at Taste Of Tennis at W New York on August 24, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images for AYS World)
GOOD MORNING AMERICA - Demi Lovato performs live from Central Park with Jax Jones and Cheat Codes as part of the Summer Concert Series on 'Good Morning America,' Friday, August 18, 2017, airing on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Paula Lobo/ABC via Getty Images) ROB MARCIANO, LARA SPENCER
GOOD MORNING AMERICA - Miles Brown is a guest on 'Good Morning America,' Tuesday, June 27, 2017, airing on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Heidi Gutman/ABC via Getty Images) LARA SPENCER, MILES BROWN
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 22: Presenter Lara Spencer is seen heading for a TV show at Times Square on June 22, 2017 in New York, US. (Photo by Vanessa Carvalho/Brazil Photo Press/LatinContent/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 16: Lara Spencer and Jesse Palmer speak onstage before The Lumineers perform on ABC's 'Good Morning America' at Rumsey Playfield, Central Park on June 16, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images)
GOOD MORNING AMERICA Lara Spencer interviews Ethan Hawke on 'Good Morning America,' Thursday, June 22, 2017 airing on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Lorenzo Bevilaqua/ABC via Getty Images) ETHAN HAWKE, LARA SPENCER
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 24: Lara Spencer is seen outside 'Good Morning America' with her dog on May 24, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Raymond Hall/GC Images)
GOOD MORNING AMERICA - Jamie Foxx is a guest on 'Good Morning America,' Wednesday, May 24, 2017, airing on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Lou Rocco/ABC via Getty Images) JAMIE FOXX, LARA SPENCER, MICHAEL STRAHAN
GOOD MORNING AMERICA - The GMA crew won the Peoples Choice Award on 'Good Morning America,' Monday, January 23, 2017 on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Heidi Gutman/ABC via Getty Images) AMY ROBACH, MICHAEL STRAHAN, ROBIN ROBERTS, GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, GINGER ZEE, LARA SPENCER
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 08: Actress Lara Spencer attends The 2017 InStyle and Warner Bros. 73rd Annual Golden Globe Awards Post-Party at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 8, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by John Sciulli/Getty Images for InStyle)
GOOD MORNING AMERICA - David Beckham is a guest on 'Good Morning America,' Monday, December 12, 2016, airing on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Ida Mae Astute/ABC via Getty Images) DAVID BECKHAM, LARA SPENCER
GOOD MORNING AMERICA - Edward Norton is a guest on 'Good Morning America,' Thursday, December 8, 2016, airing on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Paula Lobo/ABC via Getty Images) MICHAEL STRAHAN, ROBIN ROBERTS, EDWARD NORTON, GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, LARA SPENCER
GOOD MORNING AMERICA - Riz Ahmed of 'Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,' is a guest on 'Good Morning America,' 12/16/15, airing on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Paula Lobo/ABC via Getty Images) RIZ AHMED, LARA SPENCER
GOOD MORNING AMERICA Chris Pratt is a guest on 'Good Morning America,' Wednesday, December 7, 2016, airing on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Paula Lobo/ABC via Getty Images)MICHAEL STRAHAN, CHRIS PRATT, LARA SPENCER, ROBIN ROBERTS, GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS
GOOD MORNING AMERICA - Coverage of 'Good Morning America,' 11/29/16, airing on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Ida Mae Astute/ABC via Getty Images) GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, LARA SPENCER
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 17: Lara Spencer attends the 2016 American Museum of Natural History Museum Gala at the American Museum of Natural History on November 17, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by D Dipasupil/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 22: Television personality Lara Spencer leaves the 'Good Morning America' taping at the ABC Times Square Studios on November 22, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Ray Tamarra/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 14: Carlos Hernandez, Rick McVey, Lara Spencer attend The 33rd Annual Calvary Hospital Awards Gala at The Pierre Hotel on November 14, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Victor Hugo/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
TO TELL THE TRUTH - 'Episode 203' - Lara Spencer, David Arquette, Tom Bergeron and Sherri Shepherd make up the celebrity panel on 'To Tell The Truth,' Episode 203, SUNDAY, JANUARY 8 (8:00-9:00 p.m. EST). In this episode the panel is faced with finding the two-time national world champion drag-racer, someone who has been caught in the eye of a tornado, the creator of the dating site FarmersOnly.com and a record-breaking professional strongwoman. (Lisa Rose/ABC via Getty Images) LARA SPENCER
NASHVILLE, TN - NOVEMBER 02: Good Morning America host Lara Spencer hosts Dierks Bentley Performance On ABC's 'Good Morning America' outside Bridgestone Arena on November 2, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Anna Webber/WireImage)
GOOD MORNING AMERICA - Lin-Manuel Miranda of the Broadway sensation 'Hamilton' is a guest on 'Good Morning America,' Thursday, October 13, 2016, airing on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Heidi Gutman/ABC via Getty Images) ROBIN ROBERTS, MICHAEL STRAHAN, LIN-MANUEL MIRANDA, LARA SPENCER, GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS
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The two-time Dancing With the Stars winner also added that everyone is allowed to have their own opinion.

“It’s OK to laugh at dance and say, ‘Wow, you dance, haha.’ I laugh at curling. I hope people don’t get offended that I think curling is a silly sport,” Chmerkovskiy added. “That doesn’t mean that my opinion matters all that much, it’s just my opinion.”

Dancing With the Stars premieres on ABC Monday, September 16, at 8 p.m. ET.

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