Dancing with the Stars kicked off with controversy over a casting switch up. After modeling legend Christie Brinkley announced that she was forced to withdraw from the Season 28 competition due to a serious arm injury, her daughter, Sailor Brinkley-Cook, was immediately called in to sub for her.
As The Inquisitr previously reported, Brinkley explained that she broke her right arm “into a 1000 pieces,” and that she required surgery to her wrist and arm, complete with a metal plate and screws.
But when rehearsal footage of Brinkley tripping over her partner Val Chmerkovskiy’s foot during a turn aired on Good Morning America, and later on the Dancing with the Stars premiere, some people thought the fall looked “fake.”
Most vocal was talk show host Wendy Williams, who flat out accused Brinkley of faking the injury to help advance her daughter Sailor’s modeling career. On her live daytime talk show, Williams said Brinkley’s fall looked “fake as hell,” per Entertainment Weekly.
“I don’t see a wrist and a shoulder being fractured. But that was real cute,” Williams said of the footage.
The talk show host went on to speculate that after Dancing with the Stars called Brinkley, and she accepted the offer to compete on the show, she immediately “plotted” her exit as a way to draw attention to Sailor.
“I think what Christie did was she signed up for Dancing with the Stars knowing that she’d put her daughter Sailor in there,” Williams said.
Williams also revealed there wasn’t one person in her staff meeting who thought the fall looked believable.
Williams and her staff weren’t the only ones who doubted Brinkley’s story. Dancing with the Stars fans took to social media to question the incident, as you can see below.
— Cindy Cox (@pezlover) September 17, 2019
I’m with @WendyWilliams. This whole Christie Brinkley #DWTS is so fake! I can’t be the only one who noticed Christie holding up her “broken” arm for the camera when they first showed her in the audience. There’s also no way they’re the exact same size for custom fitted costumes.
— Jessica (@jhspraggins) September 17, 2019
— Paxton Zbornak (@freezdrdromance) September 17, 2019
the only time i'll agree with wendy williams is now when she's talking about christie brinkley….that injury did look fake as hell and i thought they were kidding when they said her daughter was filling in. like…who????? #DWTS28 #DWTS
— samantha ???? (@_samantharose1) September 16, 2019
In an interview with People, Brinkley reportedly burst into tears when she was asked about Williams’ accusations.
“Wait, she said that this is a fake? I’m totally shocked because I have been there for Wendy Williams. That is so weird,” Brinkley said before breaking down. “I have to give her a call … I’m really stunned.”
The 65-year-old supermodel had considered Williams a friend and had even coached her through stage fright when she was in the musical Chicago.
In the interview, Brinkley also gave graphic detail about her injury, explaining that the “second” she landed on the floor after tripping over Chmerkovskiy’s foot, she “felt the shards” in her arm.
The Sports Illustrated legend was left with multiple broken bones as well as a dislocated wrist. People also posted a photo of Brinkley in the hospital following her surgery, and it was noted that she remains on heavy painkillers.
While the injury was a major let down for Brinkley after rehearsing for three weeks with Chmerkovskiy, she said a light bulb went off when she decided to ask Sailor to replace her.
“They popped her into my costumes. They fit her perfectly,” Brinkley said.
On the live Dancing with the Stars premiere, Brinkley was in the audience with a cast on her arm as she showed support for her daughter, who only had three days to step in and learn her foxtrot routine. Brinkley also joined her daughter onstage to give details about her painful injury and said her break was one of the worst her surgeon had ever seen.
Dancing with the Stars airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on ABC.