Dancing with the Stars pro Lindsay Arnold is mourning the sudden death of her beloved mother-in-law, forcing her to abruptly leave rehearsals for the series and her celebrity partner Sean Spicer, to be with her family. The cast has given an update that they are “unsure” if she will be able to continue alongside Spicer in the coming weeks as they rally around their friend in her time of need.
The dance pro, who has been married to Sam Cusick since 2015, shared on Instagram that she was “saddened” by the death of her “beautiful, loving, selfless mother-in-law.”
Arnold and Cusick were high school sweethearts who began dating when they were just 16 years old. The couple married when they were 21.
Two cast members were quoted by Entertainment Tonight regarding Arnold’s potential return to the competition, as that would mean endless hours of rehearsals alongside Spicer, and time away from those she loves.
Fellow pro, Whitney Carson, who lost her father-in-law during Season 27 and also had to leave the series for a short period of time, said that her longtime pal is “good as can be.”
“It’s so devastating and I could kind of relate on a level. I was just telling her, ‘You know what, the family’s the most important. We all support that, we all support you.’ We’re just sending so much love to her and Sam and their family. It’s so sad,” Carson stated.
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I am so saddened to say that my beautiful, loving, selfless mother in law has unexpectedly passed away. Family is the most important thing to me and being with my husband and our family at this time is exactly where I need to be. I want to thank everyone from my @dancingabc family for being so supportive and making it possible for me to be at home with my loved ones during this time. I will not be performing tonight on the show and although I wish I could be there I know that home is where I need to be. Thank you all for your love and support. Families are forever and I know that without a doubt.
During Arnold’s absence, Jenna Johnson, who was paired with Queer Eye for the Straight Guy star Karamo Brown until his elimination during Week 7, stepped in for Arnold this week to work with Spicer.
Johnson said to ET that Arnold’s return was still uncertain as of the November 10 show.
“We are unsure. So, we just want to get through Monday, today, and we’ll see.”
After stepping in for her friend and attempting to guide Spicer through his jazz routine, Johnson and Spicer managed to remain one more week in the competition despite low scores and harsh judges’ comments.
The Inquisitr previously reported that Spicer remaining on the show has “frustrated” judge Carrie Ann Inaba, who critiques and scores the celebrities alongside fellow judges Bruno Tonioli and Len Goodman.
Inaba commented to Entertainment Tonight that she wants viewers of the show to realize that the series is a dance competition and not a popularity contest. The show was put on blast by fans after radio personality Bobby Bones won in Season 27 of the series despite low judges’ scores throughout the season. Her frustration stems from her observations that some celebrities are working hard to master difficult ballroom techniques while others are not quite up to the task.
Dancing with the Stars airs Mondays at 8 p.m. EST on ABC.