The child pornography scandal involving one of the stars of “Cheer” was a huge shock to the other cast members.
On Wednesday, Navarro College cheerleading coach Monica Aldama appeared on Global’s “Tamron Hall Show”, and she shared how she learned about the allegations against co-star Jerry Harris while on the set of “Dancing with the Stars”.
“I was on the stage, we were about to go into the full dress rehearsal and that’s when the executive producer came up to me and asked me if I’d seen the headlines and of course I had not,” she recalled. “I hadn’t even had my phone out. I’d been doing makeup and rehearsal and hair and all the things that come along with that big production. And so I was just taken aback and it kind of took the breath out of me for a minute and all I read was the headline. I couldn’t even read the actual article. I still haven’t read the article.
“I got through the dress rehearsal, I went back and I did look at my phone for a second, but I knew that I couldn’t read anything,” she continued. “I had to stay emotionally strong because it was – like I said, I was already a wreck just thinking about doing ‘Dancing with the Stars,’ so I just tried to hold back until I got through that night and then let all the emotions pour in.”
Aldama also talked about how she and her team have stood together to support each other in the wake of the news, which she wrote about in her new book Full Out! Leadership Lessons from America’s Favorite Coach.
“Your emotions are just all over the place because you know that there are people that are dealing with hard things too. My heart was just all over the place and I wasn’t physically in Texas, so that also was really weighing on me, you know, not being able to physically be with the team and the people that I really felt like we needed to lean on each other and we did as best we could,” she said. “You know, I definitely talk about in the book, when we had a FaceTime call to talk about it and it was awful, honestly. I’ve never witnessed sadness like that.”
In September, Harris, who had appeared in season 1 of “Cheer”, was sued by twin teenage boys who accused him of sexual abuse. He was arrested later that month on U.S. federal charged related to child sexual abuse imagery, and is currently still in custody.
The “Tamron Hall Show” airs weekdays on Global.