Jaleel White is a favorite on “Dancing With the Stars,” but he has been the subject of tabloid reports off the stage, and the star said it’s tough.
In the past few weeks, White’s ex-girlfriend, who is the mother of his daughter, accused him of being verbally and physically abusive, Radar Online reported.
He talked about the recent reports with “Good Morning America” correspondent Cameron Mathison, saying: “The Internet works so fast, it puts it all in your face like: boom, boom, boom … So, I don’t think that’s really fair to me, to be quite honest.
“Second of all, these aren’t any allegations that are new,” he noted. “I went through a child custody situation in 2010 and, wildly, I end up on ‘Dancing With The Stars’, and the ex I’ve been co-parenting with, for two years, in peace, decides that she wants to go have a conversation with Star magazine. So, I’m not even going to get into that. I have to leave that to the courts.
“And the Kym thing was really residue from that,” he said, referring to tabloid reports that he and pro dance partner Kym Johnson had a big fight last week.
White, who starred in the 90′s sitcom “Family Matters” as the adorably nerdy Steve Urkel and his dashing alter ego Stefan Urquelle, has said reports of apparent fighting between him and Johnson are overblown, and she supports him.
“We’ve been having a ball,” he said.
Asked by Mathison what his part was in the recent reports, White replied:
“Ah, what is my part in all of this? That’s a good question.”
He paused for a moment, then continued: “I can’t really say. I’m serious, I can’t really say, man. I just, I think my part in all of this is the fact of the matter is: I guess I’m kind of everywhere right now. I’m basically like, I got this huge microscope on me right now and that’s a good thing for career purposes. But, unfortunately, it brings out, it brings out bad things, you know.”
White’s performance last week brought out strong emotions in him. After dancing a rumba that reflected the significane of the character Stefan Urquelle for him, he tearfully told “Dancing With the Stars” co-host Brooke Burke Charvet: “Stefan Urquelle and Steve Urkel, that’s my Mickey Mouse. I love entertaining people, and I’ve done it since I was three…I just wanted to complete this week.”
The comments had the Internet buzzing to figure out what he could have meant.
Asked by Mathison to explain the comments, White, 35, said: “Look, anytime you want to do something with Mickey Mouse, you get 50 Disney executives in the room. Like, ‘Hold on, buddy! What you think you’re going to do with Mickey Mouse?’ And, you know, for me those characters (Urquelle and Urkel) are the same thing personally for my personal brand, for my personal company,” he said, explaining how important the characters were to him.
“I was dancing in that white suit and … there’s a lot of pressure on me. I really felt it, to make sure that dance was everything it needed to be,” he added.
The pressure hasn’t lessened, but White is tackling the routines with determination.
He has lost 12 pounds since he started rehearsals.