Maksim Chmerkovskiy made news last week with his sudden proposal to Peta Murgatroyd following the pair’s performance of Sway in Miami. The couple, who had dated in 2012 and 2013, picked up their romance earlier this year. Despite the couple’s long-tenured relationship and obvious affection, a proposal was not necessarily expected — not least by Maksim’s brother Val. The younger Chmerkovskiy told Entertainment Tonight Friday that although he got advance notice of Maks’ intentions, it came later than one might have expected.
“I found out [Maks was proposing] a half an hour before he did that. During intermission of our show, he started showing me the ring, and I bugged out.”
But additional time was not necessary, because Val had no plans to talk Maksim out of the proposal. He told ET the brothers’ fellow Dancing With the Stars pro had long been accepted into the Chmerkovskiy clan.
“We love Peta — all jokes aside. I love her honestly with all my heart. She’s been a part of the family for a long time. I’m just glad that now it’s official.”
Back in January an unnamed source told People that the Peta and Maksim relationship was always on-again, off-again, and despite his feelings, Maksim was not going to make a big deal in the public about their romance. Peta, according to the source, also valued her independence.
In May, Maksim told Glamour that the success of his relationship with Peta was because the two were “older.” Murgatroyd, who bowed out of last season’s Dancing With the Stars due to an ankle injury, is 29. Chmerkovskiy is 35. In the past, Maks has been linked romantically to model Kate Upton and singer Jennifer Lopez.
If Val felt out of the loop about Maksim’s proposal plans, he could take some comfort in knowing he wasn’t the only one in the dark. The older Chmerkovskiy told ET he didn’t want the surprise to leak to Peta, and since they have so many close friends and family, he told no one.
“I have a big circle of people that I’ve accumulated over the years that are now her friends and her family, and if you say just the closest few, [that would be] like 50 people, so I decided not to say anything to anybody. No mom, no dad.”
Val took to Instagram shortly after the proposal to call Peta his “sister,” and the “second most important woman” in his life.
Fans who would like to see the abrasive-but-lovable Maksim return to Dancing With the Stars are likely to be disappointed. His May interview with Glamour revealed he had no plans to go back to the show that made him well-known in North America.
“I think the change of guard is necessary. Like a plant that in order to improve growth, you have to pull branches. It’s the same thing. Every now and again, everything needs to be refreshed.”
Maks had said at the time that perhaps fellow pro Derek Hough might not be back; Hough himself had expressed some uncertainty about his future with the television franchise. As it turned out, Hough did come back for season 21. He won the season with celebrity partner Bindi Irwin. It was the first season without another of DWTS‘s familiar faces, judge Len Goodman. The show announced at the end of the season that Goodman would return for season 22.
As DWTS continues on, Maksim and Peta are planning their wedding. Peta told ET she wants it to be “big,” and that she has no problem with her fiancé sitting back while she takes care of the details.
“I’m happy with that. I want to do it all. I’m cool with that. He can just sit there and turn up for the big day.”
[Main photo by Sergi Alexander/Getty Images Entertainment]