Pro Dancer Denies Dating Flirty DWTS Hunk Despite Insane Chemistry


Heavy/ABC "Dancing With the Stars" news.

Cheryl Burke says there was never a romance between her and her season 8 partner, Gilles Marini, despite their sizzling chemistry.

The former “Dancing With the Stars” pro dancer, who announced her retirement from the ABC celebrity ballroom competition in 2022, spoke with Marini in an April 2024 episode of her “Sex, Lies & Spray Tans” podcast. During the interview, the two talked about the rumors that swirled about their spicy DWTS partnership.

Marini and Burke placed second in the ABC ballroom competition in May 2009. At the time, fans questioned if there was more going on between Burke and Marini than their on-camera partnership. But in the new interview, they set the record straight.

Gilles Marini Says He Has a Chemistry ‘Thing’ With Cheryl Burke

GettyCheryl Burke and Gilles Marini.

During the interview, Burke and Marini addressed their DWTS connection. The French actor  shared, “You and I had okay, we had that thing without having that thing. The world was like…”

“No, for sure, everyone thinks I definitely jumped your bones, and it’s just not the case,” Burke confirmed.

Marini has been married to his wife Carole since 1998,  according to Closer Weekly. He also noted that Burke had a boyfriend at the time, which prompted her to say, “Oh my God, let’s not mention names. My ex-boyfriend, I mean, shout out to him, but we don’t need to mention names!”

Burke added, “Why there were rumors about us that you were married with a beautiful wife with Carole, Like, I don’t think it was publicly maybe not about. I don’t know if that was an intentional thing or whatever it is. It doesn’t matter. “

“But like, just let’s just tell everyone like nothing has ever happened physically between us,” the dancer added. “We were very close intimate like in that sense, like we were great friends. We went through our ups and downs, right, we definitely had chemistry. Like either you… you can’t teach that. Like you either have it with someone or you don’t. And it was hot.”

Marini quipped that he’s “still a dude” despite maintaining professionalism with his dance partner.

“Oh I never forgot, Gilles,” Burke piped in. “You told me that you could draw my privates after our season.”

Marini admitted that it sounded “weird” and people would not understand what he meant by that. “It was in printed in my brain,” he said of Burke’s body. “Yet I have never seen it naked.”

Gilles Marini Defended Cheryl Burke Against Body Shamers

GettyHOLLYWOOD – NOVEMBER 29: Dancers Cheryl Burke and Gilles Marini perform at the Dizzy Feet Foundation’s Inaugural Celebration of Dance at The Kodak Theater on November 29, 2009 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Dizzy Feet Foundation)

In the fall of 2008, Burke was targeted after she gained weight over the summer. According to, the then-24-year-old dancer and fellow pro Lacey Schwimmer were critiqued by fellow DWTS pros Louis Van Amstel and Maksim Chmerkovskiy. “When I first saw these women this season, I said, ‘Guys, you know the camera adds 10 pounds,’” Chmerkovskiy told TV Guide at the time. “‘You have to do something about this.’”

Burke told “Good Morning America” she was “shocked” by the comments. She also shared that she’d only gained five pounds and still fit into size 4 dance costumes.

Six months later, Marini defended his dance partner. “If women look like [Cheryl], that would be the perfect world,” he told E! News in April 2009. “She doesn’t need to change anything. Who likes stick-skinny girls? Where’s the flavor? Whoever likes those stick-skinny girls never had sex before in their life.”

Marini addressed his past comments on “Sex, Lies and Spray Tans,” where he admitted he received backlash for his “stick-skinny” remark. “I just say, like, if every woman looks like you, I’ll be just fine. Well, every woman who didn’t look like you killed me,” he told Burke, adding that he didn’t mean to “omit” women with other body types. “I was saying very loud, to stop being violent with your words towards Cheryl,” he explained. “She’s a beautiful being enough, that’s what I should have said.”

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