“Well, passive-aggressively she is blaming us, but I am going to say it again on record, I never ever even mentioned your name or Lacey’s name when I did an interview with Monica Rizzo,” van Amstel, 50, insisted during an appearance on Burke’s “Sex, Lies and Spray Tans” podcast on Sunday, November 12.
Van Amstel was responding to Schwimmer’s October quotes from Burke’s podcast in which Schwimmer, 35, said she was “ruined” by remarks that van Amstel and fellow Dancing With the Stars pro Maksim Chmerkovskiy said about Burke and Schwimmer in 2008.
“They all took it from someone else, and once the ball is rolling, the snowball gets bigger and bigger really fast, especially if it’s juicy,” van Amstel alleged on Sunday. “I would never ever body shame you, Lacey or anyone else.”
Schwimmer initially made headlines in October when Burke, 39, brought up a TV Guide interview from 2008 in which Chmerkovskiy, 43, was reported as saying, “When I first saw these women this season, I said, ‘Guys, you know the camera adds 10 pounds. You have to do something about this.’”
Van Amstel allegedly told the same reporter, “[People] look at this show to be inspired and think, ‘If I just work hard enough, I can look like that. If they watch someone who’s dancing her butt off and she’s still heavy, they can be discouraged. You have to take that responsibility.” However, he has claimed on several occasions that the quotes were taken out of context and were not about Schwimmer or Burke.
In fact, van Amstel said on Sunday that he spoke with Burke about the past interview years ago and they were seemingly on good terms. “I also talked to you about it. I made sure that you knew I never, ever said it. I even believe last year, we talked about it again,” he told Burke on the podcast. “So I have a question for you. When you know from me that I didn’t say it, why did you not tell Lacey, ‘Hey, I can’t say anything about Maks, but I can say what [Louis] said?’ I never said it. Why did you not tell Lacey, ‘Hey, by the way Louis and I did talk about it and he swears to me he never said it.’”
Burke replied: “This was not again to bash you. This was to start the conversation of something we both experienced together so she could talk and be open about her experience. It was just me reading a quote from TV Guide.”
Van Amstel was clearly hurt by the lack of support, explaining, “I couldn’t defend myself. You didn’t say anything. Those people [who listened to the podcast] think, ‘Oh, I guess they said it, because no one shared the contrary.’”
He then shared the backstory as to why he even spoke with a reporter about body image in 2008, claiming it was supposed to depict why DWTS pros fluctuate with their weight despite being so active on stage.
“So we talk, and when she shared with me she wanted a reply from me and all I said was, and I still remember it because I pulled myself in, all of us, we all put on weight during the summer tour because we danced at 8 p.m. and we don’t want to eat before we go on stage so we had this bus ride, then you start eating at the wrong times,” van Amstel remembered. “I use myself as an example. I would eat steak and fries at 2 a.m. in my hotel room or I would skip breakfast because I would wake up at noon, things like that.”
He once again insisted, “I never mentioned your name and because I mentioned anything they just pulled in my name to that whole thing that was happening apparently with Maks and other people that were body shaming you and Lacey.”
Burke understood where he was coming from and told her longtime friend that she wasn’t trying to smear him or his image. “I love you. Like I said at the top of this interview, I forgive you whether you said it or not. It doesn’t matter,” she said. “There’s no hard feelings with me, just so you know.”
Van Amstel, however, declared “it does matter” to him because he didn’t body shame anyone. He noted that Schwimmer “never once” asked him whether he said the quotes that were published.
“Lacey never once came to me. I made sure I came to you. I wanted you to know from me right away in 2008, I never said it. I never will,” he concluded. “I live in the fitness industry. I do this every day of my life. To help people with their mental, physical health.”