A heart attack scare, an amputation nightmare, a battle with bulimia and a sexual molestation ordeal are just a few of the shockers the latest crop of “Dancing with the Stars” contestants are dealing with The ENQUIRER reveals the scandalous secrets and surprising stories of the stars who’ll battle for the Mirror Ball on the 18th season of ABC’s hit show, which premieres March 17.
Former “Amazing Race” contestant Amy lost both of her legs below the knee after a near-fatal battle with bacterial meningitis when she was 19. Incredibly, just seven months after receiving her leg prosthetics, she began snowboarding and quickly rose to become one of the best adaptive snowboarders in the U.S. The 34-year-old, who’ll be dancing with Derek Hough, said of her struggles: “If you choose not to overcome adversity, that’s when you truly become disabled.”
MERYL DAVIS AND CHARLIE WHITE
Charlie probably worries that his Olympic gold medal ice-dancing partner could fall off the stage on the show. Meryl suffers from lack of depth perception and Charlie, her partner since 1997, always had to make sure she didn’t crash with other skaters during warm-ups or hit the rink’s boards. Meryl will dance with Maksim Chmerkovskiy and hopefully not slip. Charlie will cha-cha with Sharna Burgess.
The 64-year-old endurance swimmer, whose lifelong dream was to be the first person to swim from Havana to Key West, Fla., without a shark cage, has long dealt with a dark secret: Diana says she was molested repeatedly by her high school swimming coach, an Olympian and Hall of Famer. He has denied the claims. After 35 years and four failed attempts at her goal, the openly lesbian athlete finally completed the 110-mile swim in September in just under 53 hours. It was the longest open-ocean swim in history. “Never, ever give up,” she said shortly after staggering onto the beach. Her pro partner is Henry Byalikov.
Bad news, ladies! Handsome James has women falling at his feet, but the 23-year-old says he won’t be settling down till he’s closer to 30! A talented singer, songwriter and actor, James shot to stardom playing James Diamond on Nickelodeon’s hit series “Big Time Rush,” which wrapped its successful four- year run last summer. More recently, he and his band mates finished a world tour to promote their third studio album, which hit No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 200 Chart. He’ll take a spin on “DWTS” with Peta Murgatroyd.
CANDACE CAMERON BURE
The former “Full House” cutie, 37, revealed she battled bulimia following her wedding to hockey pro Valeri Bure when she was 20, saying she turned to food to cope with the move from Hollywood to Montreal to be by his side. The mom of three, who’ll pair with Mark Ballas, ultimately beat her eating disorder by seeking “comfort in my relationship with God – and not with food.”
“Wonder Years” star Danica, 39, was so desperate to ditch her goody-two-shoes image that she appeared in lingerie for a racy photo shoot in men’s magazine “Stuff” in 2005. And last year, she locked lips with rocker Avril Lavigne in the singer’s “Rock N Roll” music video! A math whiz who’s written several children’s books on the subject, she reportedly complained to a pal: “I’m proud of being a bit of a nerd, but I’m so much more than that!” Danica, who divorced Mike Verta in 2012 after three years of marriage, will partner with Valentin Chmerkovskiy
In 2008, the gorgeous sportscaster, a former “DWTS” contestant and now the show’s co-host, was in stalker hell. She was videotaped naked through peepholes in her hotel rooms in Milwaukee and Nashville by 46-year-old Michael David Barrett. One of the videos was posted on the Internet the following year and quickly went viral. Barrett was eventually charged with interstate stalking, pleaded guilty and got 30 months behind bars. Because of Erin’s experience, the 35-year-old has now become an outspoken advocate for tougher anti-stalking laws.