The Dance Moms host seems to be fighting different wars on two separate fronts, both of which could see Abby Lee Miller on TV a lot less next year. Earlier this week, Miller said that she might not be showing up for portions of the upcoming next season of the Lifetime dance series because of conflicts with a Dance Moms producer. This comes as Miller is battling the feds on her indictment of 20 counts of fraud with a possible five years behind bars and $5 million in fines – a case she now wants a further delay in.
“If I’ve gone missing from a few episodes in Season 6, don’t believe anything anybody says,” said Miller in a December 7 newsletter about Dance Moms’ upcoming season, which premieres next month. “No doubt, I am fighting with a Producer,” she added, not naming names on the series from Collins Avenue Productions.
Complaining about “cockamamie ideas,” the sometimes-eruptive Miller says her potential absence of from the new season of Dance Moms is because she wants to be a good role model to her students. “When a grown man tells me he wants one of my kids to portray a pregnant teen and wear a baby bump — I have to put my foot down,” Miller said in the newsletter, indicating that the producers wanted to bend reality for reality TV more than a bit. “If that means not moving my foot and not working and getting fined in the process, well that’s a risk I am willing to take to protect my girls,” Miller wrote. “I am always teaching principles, integrity, and values in addition to dance technique. It is important for me that the girls learn to stand up and fight for what they believe in!”
Collins Avenue did not respond to Deadline for comment about Miller’s threat or allegations. The new season of Dance Moms is set to debut at 9 PM January 5 on Lifetime.
Miller has missed parts of previous seasons due to scheduling and other conflicts, so it’s likely a contingency plan of sorts is in place for Season 6 if she bolts for a bit. However, a much longer-lasting source of the potential lack of Abby Lee Miller on Dance Moms could come from her grinding legal troubles. Multimillion-dollar troubles that Miller tried to hit a bit of a pause button on today.
“Additional time is needed for undersigned counsel to fully review the discovery material provided and to inspect and review the material located at the FBI’s Pittsburgh Office in order to perform a complete investigation of the facts and law before making informed decisions concerning the filing of pretrial motions,” said Miller’s lawyers Robert Ridge and Brandon Verdream of Pittsburgh firm Clark Hill PLC on Thursday in a filing in federal court in the Pennsylvania city (read it here).
Earlier this fall the Dance Moms host was accused of allegedly hiding money, more than $755,000 in fees and other assets from the show from her bankruptcy court proceedings. With Miller’s Chapter 11 reorganization moving forward, the judge in the matter got wind of Miller’s other income sources only when he saw her on TV one night. Watching Dance Moms, he wondered why no significant financial documents about the series had ever crossed his docket and where all the money Miller must be making was.
Having been indicted for on October 13 and entered a not guilty plea on November 2, the reality TV host today is seeking a second extension for when she has to submit pretrial paperwork in her case. Because of the new material presented to Miller’s attorneys, the U.S. Attorney’s office, the FBI and IRS and yet-unseen material, the Dance Moms host wants the current December 17 deadline pushed until February 1 before she is required to respond to the government’s case.
Magistrate Judge Cynthia Reed Eddy granted Miller’s last extension request of November 3 that same day. No ruling on this latest extension has been entered in the case so far.