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Dance Moms Scandal: Child Abuse, Bullying on Show, Mom Alleges

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Dance Moms host Abby Lee Miller is a defendant in a lawsuit alleging child abuse, bullying on her Lifetime show.

Dance Moms host Abby Lee Miller is a defendant in a lawsuit alleging child abuse, bullying on her Lifetime show.

Kelly Hyland, a former dance mom on the Lifetime show “Dance Moms” charges in newly filed court papers that host Abby Lee Miller routinely abuses and bullies children on the show.

The suit filed in Superior Court in California, names Miller and the show’s production company Collins Avenue Entertainment as defendants.

Lifetime is not a party to the suit but bears the brunt of the allegations. Hyland is also facing separate criminal assault charges over an incident on the show.

The scrap, between Miller and Hyland, was televised on Lifetime last week. It shows Hyland slapping the dance instructor. But Hyland claims she only did so because Miller tried to bite her first, according to court papers.

Hyland’s daughters, Brooke, 16, and Paige, 13, were cast members. Among the allegations, Hyland claims Miller threw a chair at Paige, upsetting the child so much her school work suffered, forcing her to seek out school counselors.

The show’s producers went out of their way to foster conflict between the chief choreographer and parents, according to the suit.

“Heated arguments would ensue and the conflicts could be recorded for dramatic television purposes to attract viewers each week,” the lawsuit states.

The final blow-up came at a Nov. 22 dance competition in New Jersey. After Miller screamed at Brooke, Hyland said she was pulling her children from the show.

The mom says the dance instructor approached her aggressively “gnashing her teeth loudly.”

She said she slapped Miller in self-defense and pulled Miller’s head away by her hair to avoid being bitten. Miller called the police after the incident.

Hyland said the show’s producers encouraged her to leave the scene against her will, knowing her departure would lead to a warrant for her arrest and more “intensely dramatic television.”

She seeks $5 million in damages for assault, defamation, breach of contract and six other counts. For more details on the case check out Courthouse News Service.

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