Brooke Burke addresses 'affair' comments about “DWTS” partner Derek Hough: 'I don't regret saying it'

Brooke Burke might have been listening to "Illicit Affairs" too many times.

On Monday's episode of Tamron Hall, the television personality clarified her remarks that she "would've have an affair" with Dancing With the Stars partner Derek Hough, explaining that she was only trying to indicate how strong their chemistry was as a team in the ABC dance compeition.

"It blew me away because it was headline after headline after headline," she said of the flurry of stories that picked up her comments from her stint as a guest on former DWTS' pro Cheryl Burke's podcast. "Cheryl Burke [is] like my sister, and when girls get to chatting, it's kind of like a tell-all and what I was talking about was the chemistry between pro and celebrity."

But in spite of navigating the recent media scrutiny, she still wouldn't take back what she said. "I don't regret saying it because I'm comfortable communicating because I'm a grown-up and I'm in a monogamous, faithful relationship," she said.

Brooke Burke and Derek Hough on 'Dancing With the Stars'
Brooke Burke and Derek Hough on 'Dancing With the Stars'

Kelsey McNeal/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images Brooke Burke and Derek Hough on 'Dancing With the Stars'

Burke explained on Tamron Hall that her relationship with Hough is more like that of a big sister and little brother, chalking her words up to the comfort of chatting with a close friend (despite it being recorded for posterity). "Let me set the record straight," she said. "I was in a faithful marriage. But that dance where you're so close and you're so connected and that intimacy, you can't fake that."

"When you're on a show like that, you're dancing, you're breathing, you're in each other's arms, you're learning the dance, the rhythm, the struggle, the challenge, the triumph, the fear that you share when you step out onto that floor," she continued. "It's an extremely intimate experience."

The week of Oct. 9, Burke made headlines when she appeared on Cheryl Burke's podcast and talked about her time competing with Hough in the 2008 season. "I would have had an affair with him," she told Cheryl. "But listen, let me tell you why: You are intertwined with someone's body when you're not a dancer. There is no way that I have ever been so connected — besides with a lover or a husband — than I was with Derek. And it's every single day."

She elaborated on her previous remarks to Hall, saying, "It's seven days a week. What you go through in that experience is more than most people go through in a marriage. You're sharing, you're fighting, you're competing, you're learning, you're failing, you're trying to win, you're communicating, you're not communicating, you're laughing, you're crying, you're scared out of your mind. So it's all of these human emotions; to me, it was extremely sensual. Sensual not sexual. That's all I was saying."

While Burke admitted she was surprised by the level of pick-up her comments received, her biggest concern was preparing her fiancé Scott Rigsby for the scrutiny that would come with the headlines. "Baby, there's all these headlines that you're going to read about tomorrow. Let me explain," she recounted.

Burke probably has few regrets when it comes to DWTS and Hough. They won season 7, dancing off with the Mirror Ball trophy. Hough, who has been a judge since 2020, won the DWTS six times over the years. Burke, meanwhile, hosted the series for seven seasons from 2010–2013.

Dancing with the Stars season 32 is currently airing Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC and Disney+.

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