Kelly Hyland is suing the matriarch and producers of the Lifetime docusoap over a brawl that aired as part of this week’s episode. Her suit (read it here) claims that Dance Moms star Abby Lee Miller assaulted and later defamed her. The suit says “the producers of the show [Collins Avenue Entertainment], in an effort to attract ratings and viewership, encourage and facilitate conflicts between Miller on the one hand and the young girl dancers and their mothers on the other.” It goes on to cite Miller’s “bullying and insulting leadership style” as the girls’ principal dance coach. The incident that fueled the assault claim happened November 22 before a dance competition in the Bronx. The suit claims Miller “repeatedly lunged toward Kelly gnashing her teeth and loudly attempting to bite Kelly.” Then, according to the filing, Hyland “in self-defense, slapped Miller and pulled Miller’s head away from her to avoid being bitten.” Hyland also claims that “the producers of the show desired for her to have a warrant issued for her arrest as that would make for intensely dramatic television.”
Hyland said she turned herself in to local police and “was arrested, but not handcuffed, fingerprinted and interviewed.” She also claims that Miller defamed her during the latter’s appearance on daytime talk show The View and elsewhere and that she has been told that she has been suspended from Dance Moms but hasn’t received written confirmation. More salacious details can be found in the court papers. And of course, multiple cameras were rolling at the time of the fight; you can watch the video below to see (and judge?) for yourself how it all went down. Hyland is seeking, among other things, $5 million in punitive damages. The plaintiffs, which also include Hyland’s daughters and castmates Paige and Brooke, are represented by attorney Michael R. Shapiro of Los Angeles. And the reality dance continues.