Peta Murgatroyd met her now-husband Maks Chmerkovskiy back in 2009 when they both starred on Broadway’s “Burn the Floor.”
“I thought he was arrogant,” Murgatroyd previously told People magazine of the first time she met Chmerkovskiy. “I learned to like him because I found out he wasn’t that arrogant,” she explained. “He was really generous to the entire cast, and our friendship grew and grew.”
Two years later, Murgatroyd and Chmerkovskiy’s paths crossed again when they were both competing on “Dancing With the Stars.” At that time, however, Chmerkovskiy was engaged to Karina Smirnoff, according to E! News, and Murgatroyd was also in a relationship.
It didn’t take long, however, for both parties to wind up single, and they reconnected with one another, only to fall in love. It wasn’t until June 2012 that they made things Instagram official, as they took several months to feel each other out and really build a bond. During that time, both were competing on DWTS, and there was one person who was really “rooting” for them: Chmerkovskiy’s season 12 partner, Kirstie Alley.
Here’s what you need to know:
Alley Was Around During Chmerkovskiy & Murgatroyd’s Early Years Together
Things weren’t always easy for Murgatroyd and Chmerkovskiy, especially early on in their relationship. In fact, after a year together, Chmerkovskiy actually broke things off with Murgatroyd.
“My heart was broken. But when we were driving to the airport after the breakup talk, he literally asked me why I was taking all my bags and clothes back. I was like, ‘We just broke up. Why would I leave anything behind?’ That’s when I knew it wasn’t really over for forever,” Murgatroyd previously told People.
During their ups and downs, Chmerkovskiy’s two-time ballroom partner (in seasons 12 and 15) Kirstie Alley offered her support and hoped the two would end up working out. Murgatroyd shared as much in her tribute to Alley, who died in December 2022 after a short battle with cancer.
“This is how I will remember you. Full of life. Sassy and Sarcastic,” Murgatroyd wrote on her Instagram Stories. “You were always so nice to me, and you were always rooting for Maks and I. Our Gangnam Style group number on DWTS is forever etched in my memory. RIP Kirstie,” she added.
Chmerkovskiy Penned a Touching Tribute to Alley on Social Media
Although Chmerkovskiy and Alley didn’t always see eye to eye on things — like the war in Ukraine, according to Us Weekly — the two had a close bond that not many people knew about.
Following her untimely death, Chmerkovskiy took to Instagram to share a heartfelt tribute to his former “Dancing With the Stars” partner.
“You were one of the most unique people I have ever met and easily one of the brightest moments of my personal and professional life,” Chmerkovskiy wrote, in part. “Some of our relationship is heavily documented. Most of it is known to select few. All of it was like a wild rollercoaster,” he added.
Alley got to know several members of the DWTS family when she competed on the show, though she was particularly chose to her partner and his family. In fact, Chmerkovskiy’s brother Val Chmerkovskiy also offered his condolences following Alley’s death.
“Rest in peace, Kristie,” he wrote on his Instagram Stories. “Very sad to hear this news. You were always very kind to me and my family. We didn’t always agree on things, but the times we did share were always a beautiful delight. Sending my deepest condolences to your kids and loved ones.”
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