Cheryl Burke opened up on Red Table Talk about how she is moving forward after her recent divorce.
The longtime Dancing With the Stars pro sat down with hosts Jada Pinkett Smith, Adrienne Banfield Norris, and psychologist Dr. Alfiee Breland-Noble, to discuss the impact childhood trauma has had on her adult relationships.
Burke spoke candidly about surviving years of childhood sexual abuse by an elderly family friend.
“It was more of a grooming experience,” she said. “There were moments, and I’m gonna say it now, it didn’t feel bad. It was actually intimate. He was grooming me, and he was my definition of love.”
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She explained that she carried that trauma into relationships throughout her life.
“I didn’t really know what a healthy relationship was,” she said in the episode.
Burke, 38, also discussed the challenges of maintaining her sobriety during difficult times. The dancer split from her husband, actor Matthew Lawrence, earlier this year and finalized her divorce in September after three years of marriage.
Burke said she is now “choosing not to date,” and is instead focusing on herself and maintaining her sobriety.
The episode of Red Table Talk focused on “trauma bonding” — toxic patterns learned while growing up that poison relationships years later.
The episode with Cheryl Burke premiered on Wednesday, Nov. 2 at 9am PT/12pm ET on Facebook Watch.