In 2020, Dancing With the Stars professional dancer Cheryl Burke and her season 29 celebrity partner AJ McLean started a podcast called “Pretty Messed Up” that they do with dancer Rene Elizondo Jr. In a recent episode, they were tasked with answering “the most challenging, toughest, thought-provoking questions” the hosts could find. One of them was about their biggest regret in life and Burke’s answer was incredibly emotional.
Burke Regrets Not Picking Up the Phone When Her Father Called Before He Died
In March 2018, Burke’s father, Stephen Louis Burke, died at the age of 67. According to People, they were estranged for much of her childhood after he and her mother divorced, but they reconnected later in life after he was in a bad accident.
When he died, she posted a photo of them together to Instagram and wrote, “Dad, if I had one more chance to have you here with me today, I would do things differently. Every day I would tell you how much I love you. I miss you so much already. Rest In Peace.”
On the podcast, Burke opened up about how hard that was, revealing that her biggest regret in life is that he called her the day before he died and she didn’t pick up the phone.
“[My biggest regret is] not picking up the phone when my father passed away, that last call. He tried to call me and I literally saw him call me and I was in the middle of something and talking to my father was hours and hours and it was really hard for me to hang up and just say bye and he passed away the next day, so I regret that,” said Burke.
A month after he died, Burke shared another photo of the two of them on Instagram, writing, “Dad… It’s your first birthday in heaven and not a day passes by without something or someone reminding me of you. You will forever remain alive in my heart and memories, and though I am learning to live without you, I still miss you so much. I love you, Daddy. Happy Birthday.”
Burke Also Revealed She Once Stole a Car
One of the other questions was revealing a secret no one knows about you and Burke revealed that she stole her grandfather’s car when she was 12.
“I stole my grandpa’s Cadillac and drove to school with my housekeeper in it,” said Burke. “I was 12 years old and she needed to go to the grocery store, I was like, ‘Yeah, I’ll drive you!’ She couldn’t drive. I also then showed off at my school and honked the horn and waved as if I was really cool driving”
She added with a laugh, “And then the cops came.”
Burke also said the best thing about fame is having a platform to talk about uncomfortable topics.
“Honestly, the best thing [about fame] is to do stuff like this and people are interested in hearing it,” said Burke, adding, “We have a platform to be our authentic selves and talk about uncomfortable stuff like mental health.”
New episodes of “Pretty Messed Up” drop on Sundays. Dancing With the Stars will hopefully return with season 30 in 2021. ABC has not yet officially announced a renewal and premiere date.