James Van Der Beek's Dance Partner Emma Slater Talks about How DWTS Helped Him after His Wife's Miscarriage
James Van Der Beek was initially going to skip his DWTS appearance on Monday night, but his wife encouraged him to go on. Former dance partner Emma Slater says it helped him to "feel normal."
James Van Der Beek and his wife Kimberly Brook are still reeling from the loss of their sixth child over the weekend. Brook was in the hospital for recovery while her husband was on stage soon after.
The 42-year-old returned to "Dancing With The Stars" on Monday to compete in the semi-finals alongside professional dancer Emma Slater. Slater later opened up to People about Van Der Beek's condition.
Van Der Beek gets eliminated
In addition to the miscarriage, Van Der Beek ended up getting eliminated in the show's latest episode after doing the Foxtrot to Hozier's "Take Me To Church" with Slater.
Their scores weren't that bad, but it wasn't enough to beat out the competitors. Still, Slater said she felt she had let down her partner, who she said was "the best he could have ever been."
Wife Kimberly was Van Der Beek's rock
She also wished Van Der Beek's wife was able to see her husband dance one more time. According to Slater, Brook was the one who pushed her husband to compete on Monday.
"Honestly, his strength is Kimberly his wife. She's the most inspirational, high-spirited person I know. She was not having it, him staying at home. She was making sure, pushing him out the door!"
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I knew I was in love pretty much immediately - at least to the extent I was capable of knowing. I was certain I wanted to have kids with her. But what I couldn’t have seen back then (but wish I could give myself credit for having forecasted), was how much she’d grow. How much she’d challenge herself, and deepen, and evolve. How much she would discover about herself, her gifts, her hang-ups, her passions, and just how much more in love with her I’d become with each new revelation. Happy birthday @vanderkimberly... you inspire me and everyone you know. Thanks for never settling for anything less than your (or my) best. ❤️
Van Der Beek reportedly "needed the show"
Slater further insisted that Van Der Beek himself said he "needed the show" to help get through the pain. She stated: "He said to me, 'I need the show.' "
"[Van Der Beek said]: 'I'm grateful to have an outlet and to have a form of physical expression and keep that engine to keep me going. I need to feel normal and not fall into the pit.' "
The "CSI: Cyber" star dedicated his performance to his wife, with whom he shares kids Olivia, nine, Joshua, seven, Annabel Leah, five, Emilia, three, and Gwendolyn, one.
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Thrilled beyond belief to announce that another little bundle of joy has picked us to be their family. We chose to have our first ultrasound on camera with our #DWTS crew capturing the result - something I NEVER thought we’d ever do... but @vanderkimberly and I have been through three of those first appointments to discover either no heartbeat, or no baby, and she wanted to share this moment. Miscarriage (a word that needs a replacement - nobody failed to “carry”, these things sometimes just happen) is something that people rarely talk about, and often go through in secret. But there needs to be zero shame around it, or around giving yourself the time and space to grieve. We decided to put ourselves out there - not knowing what we’d find - in an effort to chip away at any senseless stigma around this experience and to encourage people who might be going through it to open themselves up to love & support from friends and family when they need it most. Happily, for us - this time- we walked out with tears of joy. #AndThenIDancedAQuickStep. • Pic by @jilliangoulding
After the tragic announcement on DWTS, Van Der Beek later shared the news via Instagram alongside a picture of his wife lying on a hospital bed with one of their daughters.
Van Der Beek's devastating Instagram post
He described feeling "wrecked, devastated, [and being] in shock" at what happened. When the couple confirmed they were pregnant back in October, they had also revealed they went through some miscarriages.
Van Der Beek wrote in the heart-wrenching caption:
"We’ve been through this before, but never this late in the pregnancy, and never accompanied by such a scary, horrific threat to @vanderkimberly and her well-being."
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Wrecked. Devastated. In shock. That’s how we’re feeling right now after the soul we thought were going to welcome into our family in April... has taken a short cut to whatever lies beyond this life. We’ve been through this before, but never this late in the pregnancy, and never accompanied by such a scary, horrific threat to @vanderkimberly and her well-being. Grateful that she’s now recovering, but we’ve only just begun unpacking the layers of this one. Thank you to all of our friends and co-workers (and dance partners) who have shown up for us so beautifully during this time. As many of you have said, “There are no words...” and it’s true. Which is why in a time like this it’s enough to know that you’re there. Grieving AND counting our blessings today.
He also thanked family and friends for support. Now that Van Der Beek is out of the competition, he'll need another physical outlet and we just hope he continues to pull through. Our hearts go out to him and his family.