Kirstie Alley's Tumultuous Relationship With Maksim Chmerkovskiy Explained

Maksim Chmerkovskiy doesn't appear to be harboring any ill will toward Kirstie Alley, the "Cheers" star who died on December 5, 2022, after privately living with cancer for a short time.

While they had a falling out years ago, the professional dancer shared a touching tribute to Alley after her children, True and Lillie Parker, announced her death on social media. "We haven't spoken lately and I'll tell you everything when I finally see you, but for now I want to say that I love you very much and I wish you the most peaceful rest," he wrote to his former "Dancing with the Stars" partner on Instagram. "You were one of the most unique people I have ever met and easily one of the brightest moments of my personal and professional life." Chmerkovskiy acknowledged that their relationship was a "wild roller coaster" but only had positive things to say about his friend in the wake of her death at age 71. He wrote, "I thought you'd be around forever... Thank you for everything. I love you Kirstie Alley."

At a time, it appeared that the bond Chmerkovskiy formed with Alley was unbreakable. However, their relationship changed when the dancer became friends with Alley's archenemy, Leah Remini.

Kirstie Alley and Maksim Chmerkovskiy had a falling out over Leah Remini

Kirstie Alley and Maksim Chmerkovskiy forged a beautiful friendship as partners on Season 12 of "Dancing with the Stars," but a few years down the line, Chmerkovskiy revealed that Alley had turned her back on him.

"She stopped getting along with me," he revealed on Bravo's "Watch What Happens Live" (via ET). Chmerkovskiy said he thought the two were getting along swimmingly until she cut ties with him out of the blue. "I got a message that now that I'm associating with other people that she can't be associated with," he explained, adding, "I am no longer to be spoken with, and sorry, but that is what it is." At the time, Chmerkovskiy was forming a friendship with Leah Remini, whom Alley couldn't stand following her departure from the Church of Scientology. Still, Chmerkovskiy never spoke ill of his ex-friend. "I think the world of her." he continued. "It's sad that we've gone through so much together, and I feel like I've helped her and this is where we're at now, but I still think the world of her and I wish her the best."

While the two were still friends, Alley told People she held Chmerkovskiy close to her heart, dedicating a chapter of her memoir, "The Art of Men (I Prefer Mine al Dente)," to the professional dancer. "Every chapter is named after an art. He's the only one that's the art of a name," she dished to the outlet. "The Art of Maks, because he's a special category. He is a special guy."