Cheryl Burke says she was ‘sexually abused’ by an ‘old, retired mailman’

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Cheryl Burke says she was ‘sexually abused’ by an ‘old, retired mailman.’

The 38-year-old star – whose parents divorced when she was two because her father Stephen Louis Burke was unfaithful – explained that when she was a child her stepfather Robert Wolf had hired an elderly babysitter.

And the dancer alleged that while there was ‘no intercourse’ she was ‘groomed’ by him and that he became her ‘definition of love’ in her youth.

Heartbreaking story: Cheryl Burke was ‘sexually abused’ by an ‘old, retired mailman.’ The 38-year-old star – whose parents divorced when she was two because her father was unfaithful – explained that when she was a child her stepfather had hired an elderly babysitter 

She was just a little girl: And the dancer alleged that while there was 'no intercourse' she was 'groomed' by him and that he became her 'definition of love' in her youth

She was just a little girl: And the dancer alleged that while there was ‘no intercourse’ she was ‘groomed’ by him and that he became her ‘definition of love’ in her youth

She said: ‘It wasn’t intercourse. It was other stuff that happened, sexual acts, but I never physically felt hurt. There was moments… [where] it didn’t feel bad. It was actually intimate. 

‘He was grooming me, and he was my definition of love. This is what love equaled, right? Seeing my father’s infidelity, being abused by this old retired mailman, and I didn’t really know what a “healthy” relationship is or was.’

Her father is Stephen Louis Burke and her mother is Sherri Burke. She later married Wolf.

The former Dancing with the Stars pro – who was previously married to Boy Meets World actor Matthew Lawrence from 2019 until 2022 – went on to explain that because there wasn’t a ‘stable father figure’ in her life, she became ‘brainwashed’ at a pivotal moment.

Early days: Cheryl, left, with her mom Sherri and stepfather Robert Wolf

Early days: Cheryl, left, with her mom Sherri and stepfather Robert Wolf

Such a difficult childhood: Speaking on Facebook Watch's Red Table Talk, she told host Jada Pinkett-Smith: 'There wasn't a stable father figure in my life. It's like brainwashing at those moments in your childhood when it really matters'

Such a difficult childhood: Speaking on Facebook Watch’s Red Table Talk, she told host Jada Pinkett-Smith: ‘There wasn’t a stable father figure in my life. It’s like brainwashing at those moments in your childhood when it really matters’

And she has claimed that dancing ‘saved her life.’

Speaking on Facebook Watch’s Red Table Talk, she told host Jada Pinkett-Smith: ‘There wasn’t a stable father figure in my life. It’s like brainwashing at those moments in your childhood when it really matters. 

‘This happened for many years and no one said anything, other than my older sister’s friend who did the right thing, ran home to her parents, and told them, and then they contacted my family. I actually testified against him at nine, I believe. 

Painful memory: She said: 'It wasn't intercourse. It was other stuff that happened, sexual acts, but I never physically felt hurt. There was moments... [where] it didn't feel bad. It was actually intimate.' Seen in high school

Painful memory: She said: ‘It wasn’t intercourse. It was other stuff that happened, sexual acts, but I never physically felt hurt. There was moments… [where] it didn’t feel bad. It was actually intimate.’ Seen in high school

Awful time: 'This happened for many years and no one said anything, other than my older sister's friend who did the right thing, ran home to her parents, and told them, and then they contacted my family. I actually testified against him at nine, I believe,' she said

Awful time: ‘This happened for many years and no one said anything, other than my older sister’s friend who did the right thing, ran home to her parents, and told them, and then they contacted my family. I actually testified against him at nine, I believe,’ she said

‘Thank God for dancing. It saved my life.’

However, Cheryl added that the world of dance wasn’t an entirely ‘safe space’ and she is coming to realize she has also been a victim of ‘sexual and mental abuse’ throughout her career in the male-dominated world of ballroom.

She added: ‘Even that, though, wasn’t a totally safe space. 

‘Within this industry of the competitive ballroom world, it is very much a man’s world. The man leads, the woman follows, off the dance floor and on the dance floor. With that comes abusive partners and abusive coaches. 

‘Were there acts of sexual abuse and mental abuse? One hundred percent. Am I just coming to realize that? Yeah, for sure, as I continue to do the work.’

She is still close to her mother: Cheryl with her mom Sherri Burke

She is still close to her mother: Cheryl with her mom Sherri Burke

This comes after Burke has claimed an abusive ex would whip her with a belt while his parents watched.

The beauty alleged her former high school partner who she was with for four years, left her with ‘bruises all over her legs’ after repeatedly hitting her with a belt, even in front of his parents.

She told Jada Pinkett Smith: ‘Not to get too graphic, but in high school, I’ll never forget the person I was with, on and off for four years, whipped me with a belt.

‘And I had bruises all over my legs. I remember his parents were watching it, didn’t do anything.

‘And it wasn’t like he was hitting me, he was whipping me.’ 

Good match: Burke seen on Dancing With The Stars with Sam Champion

Good match: Burke seen on Dancing With The Stars with Sam Champion

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