John Schneider has a big reason for wanting to make it to the finals on Dancing with the Stars—and it’s not just to take home a mirrorball trophy. The actor reportedly owes a large amount of spousal support to his estranged, Elvira “Elly” Castle, and a win on the ABC celebrity ballroom competition could score him enough to pay her off for good.
Insiders told The Blast that Elvira Castle Schneider’s legal team recently obtained documents from the Screen Actors Guild that allegedly show the former Dukes of Hazzard star made over $1 million last year. A wage garnishment order was issued by the court, which stipulates that the money Schneider earns each week he stays on Dancing With the Stars should be used to help pay off delinquent spousal support owed to his wife of 25 years.
The Blast reports that celebrities routinely earn a base paycheck of $100,000 to appear on Dancing with the Stars, with additional pay each week they survive elimination.
Schneider, 58, previously claimed financial hardship to avoid jail time when he was found guilty of content earlier this year for failing to pay $185,000 in back spousal support. In 2016, the star was ordered to pay $18,000 per month in temporary spousal support to Elvira, based on his income at the time. But based on last year’s income and his lucrative DWTS gig, the actor doesn’t appear to be having a financial hardship at this time.
In July, Schneider talked to Nashville Country Daily about his ongoing legal woes surrounding his estranged wife, who filed for divorce in 2014, and their three adult children who won’t talk to him. Schneider, who was briefly jailed in June for non-payment of support, explained that he could not afford the more than $18,000 per month alimony payment because he struggled financially after his movie studio in Louisiana was destroyed in a March 2016 flood. Schneider said his estranged wife refuses to work.
“She feels like she’s entitled to it, and she doesn’t work and she hasn’t worked since we got married. And there is a group, I guess, out there that says, ‘Well, she gave up a career to become a housewife.’ Well, no, we had nannies.”
For his Most Memorable Year dance on Dancing With the Stars last week, Schneider paid tribute to his current girlfriend, Alicia Allain. In a poignant performance with pro dance partner Emma Slater, Schneider credited his new love supporting him after the devastating 2016 flood and following the death of his mother.
Dancing with the Stars airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on ABC.