More than just mat talk. Cheer star Monica Aldama gave an inside look at life after a successful Netflix show in her memoir, Full Out: Lessons in Life and Leadership from America’s Favorite Coach.
Throughout the book, the Navarro College coach addressed the sexual misconduct allegations surrounding her former cheerleader Jerry Harris, got real about her divorce and subsequent remarriage to husband Chris Aldama, spoke about her relationship with Dancing With the Stars partner Val Chmerkovskiy and more.
“I recorded the audio book a few weeks ago, and even just reading the audio book, I kind of got choked up on a couple of the topics, because they’re just difficult. [Divorce is] an emotional topic to talk about,” Aldama, 49, told Us Weekly exclusively before the book’s Tuesday, January 4, release. “I’ve talked about it openly since I got divorced, just because I thought — even though I’m a very private person — I think the divorce was an eye-opening moment for me to go, ‘You should really be more vulnerable.’ What I learned through that is … I could actually help other people. So, I’ve never been ashamed of it. I’ve openly talked about it. I knew from the beginning that I wanted to talk about it in the book, because I just feel like it’s such an important thing.”
Aldama first married Chris — whom she calls her “high school sweetheart” — in January 1994. After tying the knot, the couple welcomed two kids, a son named Austin, now 25, and a daughter named Ally, now 21. When Aldama and Chris decided to get a divorce in 2006, their kids were 9 and 6, respectively. A year after they split, the couple reconciled and eventually remarried.
“We tend to really sometimes treat people we love the most, the worst sometimes,” Aldama told Us when reflecting on their split.
Aside from telling her life story, the Netflix star also offered life lessons to readers.
“I definitely think that if you ask different people, the most important chapter is based on what they’re going through in their own personal life,” Aldama explained to Us. “There is that whole chapter about positive self- talk. You have to believe in yourself. People love to see other people fail. This past year was really, really tough. There were a lot of times that I just talked to myself and just encouraged myself because I was going through a hard time. It’s very important. You’re going to believe everything you tell yourself, so you definitely need to be careful what you say.”
Full Out also does a deep dive on the Emmy Award-winning docuseries Cheer, which Aldama was a part of. The show became a phenomenon following its January 2020 premiere and is set to air its second season via Netflix on Wednesday, January 12.
While season 2 promises to address former Navarro cheerleader Harris’ September 2020 arrest, Aldama recalled the moment she found out about the allegations in her book. Harris has since been charged with production of child pornography by the FBI and pleaded not guilty.
The coach, for her part, was notified of the accusations hours before her first-ever Dancing With the Stars performance during the show’s 29th season.
“Obviously, I needed to address Jerry because that was just such a shocking, heartbreaking moment. I figured everyone wanted to know,” Aldama told Us. “It was such a hard, hard time for me, and it really made my experience on Dancing with the Stars, I think, even that much tougher. I don’t think people really realize the emotional turmoil I was going through week to week when I was out there. So, I knew it had to be addressed.”
Keep scrolling for the biggest revelations from Full Out: