Former Dance Moms star Maddie Ziegler and mom Melissa Gisoni have made amends.
On the latest episode of Emily Ratajkowski‘s High Low with EmRata podcast, the dancer revealed that she received an apology from her mother last year for putting her (and her younger sister Mackenzie) on the Lifetime reality series when they were children.
Maddie said her mom offered the apology last year after receiving a phone call from Maddie who was having “a really bad panic attack” at the time.
” … things were coming up from the past, and she apologized to me,” Maddie said. “She was like, ‘I’m so sorry I put you through that.'”
“It’s so sad because she would never want to hurt us, but none of us knew how crazy it would get,” Maddie added.
Maddie, who was seven-years-old when she began ‘Dance Moms,’ went on to provide an example of one of those “crazy” experiences from her time on the show, which occurred while Maddie was filming her first season, according to Entertainment Tonight.
” … there were male producers saying, ‘This is what you have to say,'” Maddie recalled. “My mom wasn’t in the room, so I was like, ‘Ok, I just have to do whatever I’m being told.’ They would say, ‘Say you’re the best, say you’re better than everyone else, say blah blah blah.'”
Maddie cites this–- and similar instances-– as the reason she was “perceived as a little brat in the first season.” She even admitted to crying at a viewing party for the first episode of ‘Dance Moms,’ fearing the public would think poorly of her.
Maddie said the public perceiving her as “the most well-treated dancer” on the show was also incorrect, as there was actually more pressure put on her than some of the other dancers–- presumably by her former dance instructor Abby Lee Miller, though Maddie did not mention Abby by name.
(The two have not been on good terms for quite a while.)
” … she was like, ‘You’re my girl, so you have to lead everyone to victory every time,’ which is just not sustainable,” Maddie said.
While Maddie’s mom harbors guilt for being the one who got her daughters involved in ‘Dance Moms’, Melissa is also the one who helped her daughters get away from the series. ‘Dance Moms’ fans may remember the infamous episode in which Melissa broke the news to Abby that Maddie and Mackenzie were leaving Abby’s Elite dance team. Abby responded by crying for hours and locking herself in an office.
Last year, Maddie revealed she and her family tried to leave ‘Dance Moms’ for three seasons, but were unable to because of their contracts. This week, she also credited singer Sia for helping her and her family finally cut ties with the show and dance company.
“[My mom] really did everything to try to break our contract and pull us out, and eventually we did with the help of Sia,” she said.
Still, Maddie said the nearly 30 episodes of ‘Dance Moms’ that were filmed each season were “hard” and “consumed” her and her family’s lives.
” … [I’ve] blocked out so much of my childhood that I actually don’t know what my life was like even just before working,” she said.
(Photos: Lifetime; YouTube; Instagram)