What happened to Abby Lee Miller?

What happened to Abby Lee Miller?

Abby Lee Miller was an unlikely phenomenon, but a phenomenon nonetheless. The dance teacher and choreographer became a worldwide celebrity thanks to the success of the reality series Dance Moms (2011-19).

Fame, of course, can make life tough. Miller was involved in her fair share of controversy during the decade in which Dance Moms was on the air, but her profile has dimmed significantly since. Partially due to legal issues, but also due to extremely serious health issues that are still impacting Miller today.

Why did Abby Lee Miller go to prison?

Yes, Abby Lee Miller served time in prison. The dance instructor first got into legal trouble in 2015, when she was indicted by the Department of Justice for fraud. She reportedly made a secret bank account in 2012 and used it to stash income from TV deals and merchandising. According to the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, she also failed to file monthly reports of income, which she needed to do on the heels of her bankruptcy filing in 2010.

After years of deliberation and trial delays, Miller pled guilty to concealment of bankruptcy assets, false bankruptcy declarations, and fraud. It was estimated that she hid $750K from the government. She was sentenced to a year and a day in prison on May 9, 2017. But Miller has spoken positively about her time in prison. In early 2018, she revealed via Instagram that she’d made friends with several of her fellow inmates:

“I have made friends with both inmates and staff, I’ve tried to better myself, participated in anything offered to me and I am a better person for this experience.”

Miller was given time off for good behavior, and released after eight months on March 27, 2018.

Why does Abby Lee Miller need a wheelchair?

Unfortunately, Miller’s health deteriorated shortly after her release. In April 2018, she went to the hospital for what she believed was a spinal infection. According to People Magazine, however, she was diagnosed with Burkitt lymphoma. This is a distinct form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Miller subsequently underwent chemotherapy and a life-saving spinal cord surgery.

The chemotherapy treatments have made Miller’s bones more brittle, which led to her breaking a leg in 2023. The spinal cord surgery also required months of physical therapy, much of which was focused on helping Miller walk again. While improvements have been made, the dance instructor still has difficulty getting around on her own. In May 2024, TMZ confirmed that she still uses a power wheelchair.

The treatment worked, thankfully. Miller has been cancer-free since 2019, and she told the outlet that she intended to live out the rest of her career and her life in peace. “I have goals,” she stated. “I have dreams and I want to see them come to fruition. I want to retire and want to be able to live out my days financially secure. That’s what everyone wants.”

Miller wasn’t invited to the recent Dance Moms reunion and criticized the decision during an appearance on the Just B with Bethenny Frankel podcast. “I think the kids can’t face me because they know they would never be where they are today if it wasn’t for the show,” she remarked.

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