Abby Lee Miller is a household name to dancing fans across the country. The 52-year-old dance coach and star of the reality series Dance Moms has made headlines in recent years for a number of reasons– one being that in 2016, she pleaded guilty to felony bankruptcy fraud and was sentenced to one year and a day in federal prison. She was also convicted of bringing $120,000 worth of Australian currency into the US without reporting it.
In 2017, before serving time, Lee told US Weekly, “It’s surreal! I keep thinking someone’s gonna call and say, ‘Oh, it was a mistake!’ I’m not out taking karate. I’m not in a self-defense class, though, maybe I should be.”
At the time, she said she intended on getting right back to work after spending time behind bars.
In a recent interview with Access Hollywood about her experience in prison, Miller shared, “I read 150 books and I laid in the sun. I walked around the track, and I was in great shape… Then the prison doctor took me off all of my medication cold turkey.”
She said she was abused and that the first day she was there, a female prison guard started “trying to pull my eyelashes off.” “I think they thought they were the strips, but they weren’t. They were extensions,” she said.
Miller went on to add, “There were other situations that I haven’t talked about publicly, things that went on, and I did finally speaking to our new warden and he was phenomenal… He was excellent. He was well spoken. He was nice to me. He understood the situation.”
The Dance Moms star has been extremely open about what the experience was like for her. In one interview with Inside Edition, she said, “I have… been through the ringer. The first day was the worst day for me.”
After 8 months behind bars, Miller was released from prison. And just months after leaving, she was diagnosed with Burkitt lymphoma. She underwent ten rounds of chemotherapy and is now cancer free. In an interview with People, the dance coach shared, “the cancer is completely gone…” Miller has been left to use a motorized wheelchair as a result of the surgery she underwent and says it’s her next goal to re-learn how to walk. “If I can move, I can stand,” she says.
Based on the trailer for Season 8 of Dance Moms, it appears viewers will have an inside look at Miller’s life over the past couple of years. Be sure to tune into an all-new season airing tonight at 8pm ET/PT on Lifetime.