The actress left 'Dance Moms' in 2016 and has not spoken to the disgraced coach since.
Maddie Ziegler is opening up about her relationship with former dance instructor and Dance Moms star Abby Lee Miller. In a new interview with Cosmopolitan, the 19-year-old actress reveals that she has not spoken to the disgraced dance coach since she left the show and Miller’s dance company in 2016.
“I feel at peace,” she tells the publication about her current relationship with Miller. “Definitely.”
Ziegler, who was Miller’s star dancer, and her little sister, Mackenzie, left the show in season 6 -- a decision Ziegler says made her feel guilty at first. “She was distraught. For the longest time, we felt so guilty,” The Fallout actress says.
“She trained me, she helped me, but also, I knew I would be okay without her and I was sick of being in a toxic environment. I was like, ‘This is not for me. I can’t do this.’ I haven’t spoken to her since.”
Ziegler adds that her time on the show was great, until the competition and environment became too much for her to handle. “It is hard when you’re really loyal to your dance group,” she said about initially thinking about leaving the series.
“I was the most loyal girl there; I just wanted to dance. And I loved competing until it became televised and the drama started. Don’t get me wrong—there’s drama regardless if there are cameras or not! But it was heightened. I started to feel like, It’s so peaceful outside of this world. I can’t be in this. My family and I really tried to leave for the last three seasons. But when you’re in a contract, it’s really hard. Eventually, I finally got out.”
Following Dance Moms, Ziegler continued to find success. Shortly after leaving the series, she became the primary star of Sia’s music videos, most famously, “Chandelier.”
Miller, on the other hand, didn't have as much luck. In 2016, she pleaded guilty to charges of bankruptcy fraud and bringing $120,000 worth of Australian currency into the country without reporting it. She was originally sentenced to a year and a day in prison, but her stay was cut short after eight months, due to ongoing health issues.
In April, she spoke with ET and called out the Dance Moms families who didn’t have her back as she dealt with health and financial troubles.
“Shame on you. Shame on you after what I did for you, for your children -- helped make you a lot of money. You couldn’t come to visit me for eight and a half months? You couldn’t send a card, a letter?" Miller asked of the Dance Moms families she worked with over the years.
"I was getting mail from children in other countries and somehow, 12- and 13-year-old little girls were finding the address," she continued. "They were getting their cards and letters to me, and people here, that I taught their children before the television show -- they were very happy customers before Dance Moms and then during it, they were stars, they were making money, they were on top of the world -- and you’re just going to dump me?"
Miller added, "It’s not hurtful anymore, because you realize real quick who your friends are."