Ryan Lochte’s “Dancing with the Stars” partner had no idea what she was getting into.
Cheryl Burke — a professional dancer who just returned to the show after a brief departure — said her “heart was aching” for the disgraced U.S. swimmer, who was the reason behind protesters storming the show’s stage on Monday night.
“I’m still trying to process everything that happened last night,” she wrote on Instagram. “My heart is aching for Ryan and his family. No one deserves that sort of behavior directed at them.”
Lochte, 32, was rushed by a pair of detractors shouting “liar” during the series premiere of ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars” as a result of backlash the men’s Olympic swimmer has received for fabricating a story about being robbed at gunpoint during the 2016 Olympics in Rio De Janeiro.
Protesters storm stage during Ryan Lochte's 'DWTS' performance
In fact, he and fellow U.S. swimmers were booted from a cab after a night out and destroyed the gas station’s bathroom.
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The two protesters, who were spotted wearing white “Anti-Lochte” t-shirts, were tackled by security and later handcuffed, ABC News reported.
ABC later released a statement about the commotion.
“An individual stormed the dance tonight and was immediately subdued and escorted out of the building," the company said. "The matter is now being handled by the authorities.”
Lochte got standing ovation after ‘DWTS’ protesters stormed stage
The incident played out off-screen, but judge Carrie Ann Inaba was caught on camera urging the men to go away and leaving Lochte alone.
The flustered athlete shared his feelings with host Tom Bergeron after the network returned from a commercial break.
"I'm doing good. So many feelings are going through my head right now. A little hurt," he said. “I came out here. I wanted to do something I’m completely not comfortable with, and I did.”Send a Letter to the Editor