Maksim Chmerkovskiy says he is shocked and hurt by the accusations made against him by his former "Dancing With the Stars" partner Hope Solo. He said he has made it clear to friends that he was never physically abusive to the Olympic champion, despite Hope's claims against him in her controversial memoir, "Solo: A Memoir of Hope."
"Maks is one of the nicest guys in the world. This is 100 percent not true," a source close to the show told me. "At the moment, Maks and ABC are not making any public statements, as they are considering legal options. Not only did Hope not tell the truth in the book, she also signed a contract with the producers of 'DWTS' and could be in breach of contract."
"He was often nasty, swearing at me and being harshly critical," Hope writes. "He manhandled me in rehearsals from the start, pushing me, whacking my stomach, bending my arms roughly."
Unable to respond directly to the accusations, Maksim took to his Twitter account. "Always hated hypocrites and liars," he tweeted. "But when someone is both AND an opportunist, I just feel bad for them. Can't win at someone’s expense."
It seems he's also getting support from former partner Kirstie Alley. "I think it's always important to use your 15 minutes of fame to create something good in the world," she tweeted. "On that note … smooch and buona notte."
Despite growing pressure and potential legal issues, a source close to Hope says she won't back down.
"Hope is standing behind what she wrote and has no intention of issuing an apology. No one has tried to muzzle her yet -- today she did a bunch of interviews, including ESPN," said a colleague of hers.
ABC and Chmerkovskiy's manager have declined to comment.
NAUGHTY BUT NICE ROB ON