Sketchy Things About The Chmerkovskiy Brothers Everyone Ignores

Maksim "Maks" and Valentin "Val" Chmerkovskiy are the Ukrainian-born professional ballroom dancers who have each competed on (and won) Dancing With The Stars. They are both fan favorites, known for their chiseled physiques, good looks, and apparent preference for being shirtless whenever possible. But like most bankable reality TV stars, they are not without controversy. Older brother Maks certainly has more of "bad boy" reputation than Val, but Val once found himself at the center of the biggest scandal between the brothers, and perhaps of the entire show's history.

Regardless, the fans seem like they couldn't care less, and continue to root for the Soviet Samba Kings year after year. Here are the sticky situations the Chmerkovskiy brothers managed to avoid every time by distracting everyone with beautiful pecs and abs.

Val got sued for sharing a meme that mocked a handicapped girl

We all screw up on social media from time to time. Who hasn't gotten into a political fight on Facebook with a family member or even accidentally liked an ex's photo while just innocently trying to stalk their Instagram, right? Usually, these blunders don't end up in a court of law, but Val Chmerkovskiy found himself in exactly that situation when he shared a meme of a young, overweight girl drinking a soda that had the text "Letting your kid become obese should be considered child abuse."

Setting aside the fact that fat-shaming is generally unacceptable, and is especially heartless when even indirectly aimed at a little kid, what Val didn't realize was that the girl in the meme photo has Down syndrome. According to People, her parents became aware of the meme when her sister "saw it on Chmerkovskiy's Facebook page." TMZ reported the girl's family sued Chmerkovskiy along with CBS, who also shared the meme, and the guy who took the photo for "defamation, emotional distress and invasion of privacy," to the tune of over $12 million dollars. So Val immediately apologized, right? Not exactly.

After removing the meme, Val went to Instagram to explain himself and said, in part, "I have no desire to discriminate or shame, I just think people should have a little more knowledge and take more responsibility when it comes to their children's diets." Some viewed it as a "Sorry, not sorry," kind of apology, and Val hasn't said much else on the subject. As of this writing, the lawsuit is still pending, and it hasn't stopped Maks and Val from completing a highly successful cross-country tour of their show, Maks & Val: Our Way, so the lesson here is if you're going to act like a jerk to kids, make sure you also happen to look terrific while swing dancing shirtless.

Maks' bad boy persona

Maks Chmerkovskiy has not only accepted his bad boy image, he's admitted that he even plays into it. In an interview on Hallmark's Home And Family, Maks addressed his show persona candidly. "At one point we decided that everybody was gonna have somewhat of a character on the show," he said, admitting that he's fine with it, because it's worked out well for him. He also addressed the perception that he has a bad temper, which the show often conveys through his frustration with his dance partners when they aren't quite getting the steps down. Through somewhat gritted teeth, he said, "I don't have a bad temper, I get things done," which sounds slightly menacing and not unlike when a mob hitman refers to a murder as "taking care of a problem."

Maks has also demonstrated how much he DGAF live on DWTS, like when he unsubtly suggested it was time for Len Goodman to retire, and when he blurted out "F**k Carrie Ann" backstage in front of a bunch of reporters allegedly in reference to show judge Carrie Ann Inaba. But he remains a fan favorite, and he knows it.

In an interview with US Weekly, he laid out his winning strategy, which involves comparing himself to Donald Trump, because have we mentioned it's almost impossible for this guy to get people to hate him? "I'm the person who will say something and just move on. It's like the Trump effect. This guy says some s–t, and then everybody is like, 'Oh, my God, what did he say?' And he just goes on with his life. But I've benefited tremendously from speaking my mind."

Maks has hooked up with every woman in the world. Allegedly.

Publicly, Maks Chmerkovskiy has dated fellow DWTS dancers, Karina Smirnoff and Peta Murgatroyd, as well as supermodel, Kate Upton. Privately, Maks has been linked to basically every dance partner he's ever had on the show, including Meryl Davis, Jennifer Lopez, and even Kirstie Alley. While there's no way to ever know how many co-stars Maks actually did the horizontal mambo with, he did own up to one show-related hookup.

On the podcast Allegedly with Theo Von and Matthew Cole Weiss (via The Daily Mail), Maks said he and season three partner, Willa Ford, "dated for a little while." Also, when asked by The New York Post in 2012 whether "backstage connections happen," Maks replied, "A lot more than people know."

But by 2014 Maks seemed wary of his legendary lothario status, and set the record straight. He told OK! Magazine, "Look, people are going to think of me whatever they're going to think of me. I'm a big guy. I'm not a womanizer. I don't sleep around. Whatever I do, I just have a lot of fun. I'm a good person, I'm a good friend, and I'm a good human being." How is that supposed to jive with his carefully crafted image of being the rebel of the ballroom? No lonely housewife is sitting at home fantasizing about being whipped around the dance floor by a seemingly dangerous Eastern European man, only to be driven home on his motorcycle without so much as a kiss goodnight. Come on, Maks, tighten up your game.

Hope Solo accused Maks of slapping her

Maybe it was just a bad season for Maks, because in the same year that he flipped out on the judges, he also got accused by his then-partner, Hope Solo, of physical abuse during rehearsals. In her memoir, Solo: A Memoir of Hope (via Huffington Post), Solo wrote that Maks pushed her, "whacked" her stomach, and bent her arms "roughly." She also claimed, "One day, Maks was trying to put me in a certain position and hit my stomach so hard with his open palm that I had a red handprint there for the rest of the day."

Maks flatly denied all of Hope's allegations and, of course, in typical Maks fashion, took it a step further by going on a podcast and declaring Hope Solo is "just a sh**ty person," according to TMZ. Interestingly, during his Solo bashfest, he took a minute to talk about how he'd initially taken a "high road' approach by not participating in the social media storm that followed after Hope's claims. Instead, he chose to wait three years then bring the whole thing back up when he wasn't even asked a direct question about it, which does not sound like his hard-nose philosophy of "getting things done." It sounds a lot more like some petty Real Housewives drama he likely picked up from just one week of dancing with Joanna Krupa.

The shady timeline of his split with Karina Smirnoff and meeting his fiance Peta Murgatroyd

In 2009, Maks was engaged to fellow DWTS dancer, Karina Smirnoff. He was also starring in the Broadway show, Burn The Floor, with Peta Murgatroyd who wouldn't join the reality show's dance troupe until two years later in season 13. In an interview with People, Maks and Peta, who at the time of this writing are engaged and expecting their first child, openly admit that when they first met, there was an attraction there. "I think she was in love with me at first sight and just doesn't want to admit it," Maks said. After first saying that she thought he was "arrogant," Murgatroyd eventually said "there was always an attraction" between them.

That had to be awesome for Karina Smirnoff to read considering her breakup with Maks wasn't all that great. According to The New York Post, they split over differing opinions about having kids. Not only that, but when asked about still having to work with Smirnoff on DWTS, Maks said, "I will never speak to that person again. And I never have. It has been years now. But I am not bitter." He also said working together is "not easy," which makes sense, because the woman he possibly cheated on her with is also at the office. It's almost as if Maks could avoid all of this relationship drama if he didn't get it on with every woman he punches a clock next to, but nah, where's the fun in that?

Maks' feud with Derek Hough

With a coveted six mirrorball trophies on his mantle, no other dancer is even close to Derek Hough's winning record, which is why he's had to deal with accusations of rigging and being favored by producers. Though he's tried to stay above the fray, Hough has admitted to US Weekly that even producers acknowledge the perception that there's some shady business being pulled in his favor, and that on certain seasons they've even given him what they thought would be a difficult partner, but he still ended up winning.

Hough landed in Maks' crosshairs after commenting on Maks' live outburst against the judges. According to Ace Showbiz, Hough said, "As a seasoned professional, [he] should know not to do that. There's a certain amount of self control you should have. Last week, I knew going in it wasn't going to be our best dance. I don't get upset about it, I expect it and then I take it with grace and move on." This, of course, did not go over well with hot-head Maks. In a rebuttal on GMA (Via Daily News), Maks said, "Derek Hough has been very supportive of his personal career on the show. When you say judges have been generous, with all due respect, if I had Nicole Scherzinger followed by Jennifer Grey followed by Ricki Lake, I probably would not be very upset with the judges either," meaning Hough had easy partners, while Maks tangoed with Tia Carrera, Debi Mazar, and Kirstie Alley.

For anyone else, that kind of pettiness might be viewed negatively, especially since Maks later denied the rivalry despite doling out what clearly were fighting words. "Listen, I don't have a problem with Derek. The producers have changed and it's different now," he told US Weekly.

Maks seems to have a love/hate relationship with DWTS

At this point, we've established that straight-talk from Maks is to be expected, so it's not a surprise that he hasn't always had fond words for the show that made him an international star. During that Hallmark Home And Family interview, he said he declined to appear on the first season because as a competitive dancer he viewed it as "selling out." But the money must have been good enough in the second season when he joined and stayed for four years before cooling off again after season five. Of his first exit, he told TV Guide he'd become disillusioned with the Hollywood lifestyle and wanted to go back to "educating himself" and "developing" as a dancer. "Other dancers on this show have aspirations to become actors and singers and they lose focus of where they came from," he added.

That hiatus lasted a year before Maks was back in season seven. He stayed until season 16 when he left again, this time somewhat ironically to "dive into producing and acting, while fulfilling my sponsorship obligations," according to People. But after skipping just one season, Maks returned in season 18 to claim his first mirror ball trophy with partner Meryl Davis, and you'll never guess what he did next. Yep, he left the show again. Although, going out on top is the best way to do it, right?

Maks returned again in season 23, because apparently his bit part on General Hospital, cameo on Fuller House, and two other obscure roles in the span of three years wasn't the splash onto the big screen he was expecting. Somehow though, with each return Maks is welcomed back by fan's open arms and we can really only speculate as to why they haven't soured on him.