Burke and Ziering made it to the semifinals on Season 4 of the hit ABC dancing competition series in 2007. After her time on the show, Burke expressed her disdain for the Sharknado alum — calling him her “least favorite” partner and even making fun of the pronunciation of his name.
On a recent episode of her podcast, “Pretty Messed Up,” the dancing pro is extending an olive branch to Ziering for her past hateful words, saying she regrets her comments and hopes to be able to reconcile with the 57-year-old actor.
“The one thing I truly regret and want to make amends with is Ian Ziering,” she told cohost, Backstreet Boys' AJ McLean. “I was completely out of line a few years ago, and I did a podcast where they were asking me who my favorite partner was and who did I hate the most. And I answered Ian Ziering, and I said something along the lines of ‘I’d rather slit my wrists than dance with Ian Ziering again,’” Burke said on Sunday April 18.
She continued: “There’s no excuse. No matter if it was a joke or not, I know it hurt him and I know it hurt his family. It was a big deal,” Burke said, noting that Ziering mentioned the nasty comments to DWTS pro Tony Dovolani on a flight the two shared together. “I took it to that next level of nastiness. I was so nasty. And I’m here to publicly apologize to Ian and his family… I lost a lot of respect for myself. It haunts me till this day,” she added.
It is unclear if Burke has personally reached out to Ziering directly, but the Beverly Hills, 90210 alum hasn’t yet publicly responded to her apology.
Burke's initial hurtful comments about Ziering were in 2016, when she appeared on the podcast “Allegedly with Theo Von and Matthew Cole Weiss” and told the hosts she hated working with Ziering so much that she even asked the producers to kick them off the show.
“I was, like, crying to the executives. I was like, ‘Is there any way to please just eliminate us?,’” she said at the time. “They’re like, ‘We can’t. We can’t do that.’ And I swear, every time I asked, we just kept going. We would last till the end.”
Burke also said on the podcast, “The fact that his name’s not [pronounced] ‘EEE-an’ and it’s ‘EYE-an’ makes me want to throw up.” After her initial comment that Ziering “made me want to slit my wrists,” Burke took to Twitter to apologize for making light of suicide.
“I’ve always lived by the rule that if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. Recently and regrettably, I broke that rule. In the heat of an interview conversation, I used a phrase that seemingly makes light of suicide and I deeply regret it,” she wrote on April 17, 2016, without apologizing to Ziering directly, just for her comments on suicide.
“I have many friends and family members that struggle with depression and thoughts of suicide. To have said something that seemingly makes a mockery of what they’ve gone through and what they live with is something that I apologize for. I never meant to hurt anyone or to trivialize the topic. I was out of line and for that I apologize,” she concluded.