Miller is charged with 20 counts of embezzlement after allegedly hiding $750,000 from creditors during her bankruptcy proceedings in 2010. The charges include concealment of bankruptcy assets and false bankruptcy declarations. She made the money from Dance Moms and other TV appearances. She faces up to five years in prison and up to $5 million in fines, as each count carries a possible $250,000 fine.
In a suit filed in LA County Court, Paige Hyland, a 13-year-old dancer, alleges she suffered emotional abuse and developed panic attacks and anxiety from her reality star dance instructor. Document:
Paige Hyland reasonably feared she would be physically injured because she had observed Miller physically batter other people on the show including physically pushing [mother] Kelly Hyland’s face, pinching another student until she bled and violently grabbing another student by the arm…All of this was a part of a deliberate scheme by the producers to generate interest in the television show and strong ratings when each episode airs.
She also claims that the girls had to work 60 hour weeks and 12-hour days were routine. Hyland’s lawyer:
I’m not looking to make a lot of money off this. I think what Miller has done to the kids is intolerable and has got to stop. It’s the most repugnant case I’ve been involved in after 49 years of practice.
Miller gives a masterclass in London, and 500 students learn an audition routine. Sixteen year old Lucy Sharpe from Penarth is hand picked by Miller as the best dancer during mock auditions. Performing Arts Academy Wales principal Vicky Russell:
Abby handpicked Lucy, who was incredible, I was so proud of her. The standard was phenomenal and there were so many people there, you had to really stand out to even be notice.
The celebrity host may just have expected a bucket full of cold water, but her students mixed it up a little and also pushed her into the pool.
We need money for research. Thank you so much.
Lifetime stops airing Abby’s Studio Rescue at its regularly scheduled time after airing just two episodes. Lifetime publicity representative states that the network plans to:
…air the remaining episodes later this year.
Miller disputes child abuse claims that are brought about by a lawsuit from former Dance Moms star Kelly Hyland. She states that her techniques are not as traumatic as they appear on the show. In addition, she states that her studio is open to parents and designed for parent viewing.
I built my building from a ground up. I built a glass-enclosed observations mezzanine so that every parent could see what was going on in that classroom. There are hundreds of thousands of dance studios in the country that you don’t see a thing until your kid comes on stage in that recital.
Miller releases her first book featuring insights from her experience as a dance teacher. She also discusses how to inspire children to achieve success. The book forward is written by Miller’s student, Maddie Ziegler.
This book is definitely filled with tough-love advice, but it’s also written in a way that shows you my experiences to get to this point. You don’t start out in the morning when you wake up just being mean and tough on a kid. It evolves.
Christi Lukasiak, mother of ALDC dancer Chloe Lukasiak, claims that Miller purposefully excluded her daughter from Toderick Hall’s Freaks Like Me music video, which features Abby Lee Miller and many of her elite ALDC dancers.
Chloe wasn't included in the new bullying video because her teacher bullied her and refused to allow her to participate. Nice.
— Christi Lukasiak (@Dancemomchristi) July 10, 2014
Miller’s guest appearance on the show does not go over well with the other judges or the viewers. After professional dancer Maksim Chmerkovskiy remarks that Miller was not classy enough for the role, she responds:
I think he probably doesn’t know the real me and hasn’t done his homework on my credentials.
I don’t care what people think, really. I figure if celebrities and entertainers are taking about me, that’s a good thing. It’s when they stop talking about me is when I should worry.
Hyland, former dance mom of two ALDC dancers, sues Miller for $5 million dollars for assault, defamation, and breach of contract. Hyland and Miller engaged in a physical fight in November 2013, which aired on the Dance Moms episode Big Trouble in the Big Apple. Hyland:
[Abby] was gnashing her teeth loudly, attempting to bite [me]. Miller is a very large woman [and] weighs around 300 pounds or so.
Hyland physically attacks mIller in the dressing room during competition. The fight happened in November 2013, but was not aired until this episode. Hyland:
Get your finger out of my face!
Miller’s mother, Maryen Lorrain Miller, dies at age 86 of colon cancer. Miller discusses her mother’s cancer on the January 2014 television special Dance Moms Cares.
Maryen Lorraine Miller is performing her last dance, please keep her in your prayers.
A special episode of Dance Moms airs to raise awareness for cancer – and specifically to honor Abby Lee’s 86-year-old mother who is battling stage four colon cancer. The episode shows the dancers performing at an August 2013 Dancers Care Foundation Benefit Competition (Starbound) in Atlantic City, N.J. When the public expresses interest in how her mother is feeling as of date, Abby responds on Instagram:
My mom, Mrs. Miller, is still fighting the fight! Please keep her in your prayers. Thank you for watching and caring.
As season four of Dance Moms approaches, Miller goes to Atlanta to hold auditions to find her next big dancer. Hundreds of children showed up for the casting call.
I want to find the next ‘it’ girl or boy, I’m looking for someone with natural turn-out, gorgeous feet, and incredible flexibility
Rak will appear with long-time friend Miller and returning judge Richy Jackson for the second season of Abby’s Ultimate Dance Competition. On her judging method:
Abby has her way to tell them, and I have mine. You have to have balance … you have to give them hope. They don’t want to walk out the door and feel shattered; that’s not what it’s about. It’s about trying to inspire, to help them define their path. There is nothing worse for a child than the fear that someone will pound them and tell them ‘you’re horrible.’ That doesn’t work for me. That’s where Abby and I come from two different worlds. I respect the fact that she is a teacher and that’s how she works. [But] that’s not how I work.
Seacrest interviews Miller during On Air With Ryan Seacrest about her Honey Boo Boo comment.
I said that I did not watch the show, because I teach at that time. But I said I thought she needed to have a talent,” she tells us. When you do the modeling, pageant kind of gig, there’s a talent section. And I said, ‘If she would go to dance class and get in shape, that she would have a better talent in the talent presentation. That is what I said. They’re putting those little sound bites where they want to.
Miller says George Clooney should run for US President, and shares her opinions about reality TV. When asked about her teaching methods, and the critics who disapprove:
We don’t deal with the haters. They should just turn off the television. Thank God those kids have me in their lives.
Abby Lee Miller is born in Pittsburgh, PA as the first and only child of Maryen Lorrain and George L. Miller. She takes dance lessons at her mother’s studio, the Mareyn Lorrain Dance Studio, from an early age, but then realizes she prefers working behind the scenes to performing. She starts the Abby Lee Miller Dance Company at age 14. Reflecting on her childhood, Miller states:
Obviously, I took classes all my life at my mother’s studio. Intuitively my mother chose not to push me or let me hang out at the studio. My dad took me to my class each week in addition to Girl Scouts (how much fun can you have for a quarter a week?), clarinet lessons (really hurt right after your braces were tightened), roller skating, ice skating, sewing lessons at Sears, swim team in the summer, ski club in the winter, and let’s not forget Charm School!