He’s ba-ack! “Dancing with the Stars” bad boy, Maksim Chmerkovskiy is returning to the hit ABC show on Monday after almost a year away. But this time, he’s vowing to curtail his bad boy ways and leave the drama at home.
"I think I've given the viewers enough drama in the last nine years," the 34-year-old told People. "Now I want to give them a season that's drama-free - nothing but smiles and laughter and a great time. Let somebody else be dramatic."
After joining the dancing competition show in the second season, Maks got into his fair share of conflict. In 2012, U.S. soccer player Hope Solo accused the dancer of slapping her during practice, writing in her memoir: "Solo: A Memoir of Hope," "He manhandled me in rehearsals from the start, pushing me, whacking my stomach, bending my arms roughly. … One day, Maks was trying to put me in a certain position and hit my stomach so hard with his open palm that I had a red handprint there for the rest of the day. … He wanted my head in a specific position. To achieve that, he slapped me across the face. Hard."
Hope says that ABC offered her a new pro partner after the incident but she declined.
And in 2009 Maks proposed to his co-star, Karina Smirnoff only to split later that year. A source close to Karina told People, "They both knew when they had been spending more time together recently things weren't going so well. She's not devastated but it obviously hurts, she's angry. She'll always love him and respect him but she always knew in heart of hearts from the beginning of their relationship that he wasn't the one for her."
Maks even got into with the judges. He famously went off on Len Goodman after his rumba with Solo was called the "worst dance of the season." Maks angrily objected to Len, calling the remarks "disrespectful," and claiming that the judges' criteria for the contestants wasn't fair.
"Listen, I'm a sweet guy," he insisted to People. "I'm just intense at work. I have nothing but the end result in mind. My entire career has been like that. … I have come to realize very late in my 'DWTS' career that that doesn't exactly translate in television format. People are tuning in to see the progress and what happens during the rehearsals and don't want to see drama."
Now Maks is hanging up his bad boy hat and is crediting his new partner, Olympic ice dancing gold medalist Meryl Davis, for his change in attitude. "I'm having a blast with her," he said.
Check out the video to see Maks’s epic battle with Len Goodman and be sure to tune into "The Insider" on TV tonight for the latest in entertainment news.