Jaleel White's 'DWTS' Drama Doesn't Help His Already-Bad Reputation (VIDEO)

I'm sure Jaleel White would like nothing better than move on from his image as dorky Steve Urkel from the '90s sitcom Family Matters, but I can't help it—every time he's mentioned in the news lately, I instantly think of that nasal-voiced, coke-glasses-wearing, suspender-sporting kid with his pants hitched up around his scrawny ribcage. Which is maybe why I have a hard time picturing White as a smooth fox-trotting performer on Dancing With the Stars ... or as a no-longer-scrawny 35-year-old man who just may have some serious anger management issues.

Not only was White accused of verbally and physically abusing the mother of his child in 2010, he's now refuting claims that he went off in a furious tirade against his DWTS partner, Kym Johnson, during rehearsals last Friday.

Damn, Jaleel. I bet those relatively simple days when everyone loved your stupid TV character aren't looking quite so bad now.

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The domestic violence allegations were made by his ex-girlfriend Bridget Hardy, who recently told Star magazine that in 2010 White struck her across the chest and broke a toilet by shoving her against it. She filed a police report two years ago in a custody dispute over their then 11-month-old daughter, but White was never questioned and no charges were filed.

As for White, he's issued a statement about the accusations, claiming that not only are they untrue, they're a byproduct of his current success:

The allegations made against me back in 2010 have suspiciously resurfaced in time to coincide with my new show on Syfy and Dancing With the Stars. Bridget Hardy has consistently shown a knack for timing throughout our child custody disputes. I guess my most recent successes have been too much for her to stomach. When you're doing well in life, it's par for the course for [people] to try and knock you down. (...) I can assure all of my fans this is only residue from a child custody matter.

Unfortunately, he's also been under fire for another not-so-happy incident that went down last week. According to reports, White accidentally stepped on Kym Johnson's foot during a rehearsal, then got in her face and yelled at her when he thought she overreacted to the pain. Sources say that after White's heated confrontation with Johnson, fellow contestant Donald Driver attempted to intervene before producers ultimately stepped in and banned White from the studio for the day.

After Monday's show, Johnson told People, "This has been a stressful week for us, and people have stressful weeks. [Today] was horrible," although she also maintained that she had a "great connection" with White.

White has addressed the altercation, claiming the whole thing was overblown:

They literally do not let you rehearse without a camera. You're watching everything, and it's tough. (...) It was completely exaggerated. We go to work every day, and there is an alley full of tabloid reporters. It's not fair to us and that's life, and I hope people can see through it. There's no drama in my life.

Yeahhhhhh, I'm gonna have to disagree with on that last statement. It seems to me there's PLENTY of drama in this guy's life, and if he really wants to be taken seriously as an actor and earn the kind of respect that will completely distance him from his Urkel-drenched past, he's going to have to avoid situations where he looks like an explosive jerk. Because if there's one Hollywood story that always has legs, it's "child star goes bad."

Here's hoping the guy can at least finish out Dancing With the Stars without racking up any more bad press. Based on his statements, I think the first step might be to tone down that ego of his a notch or two.

Watch Kym and Jaleel discuss the "incident" (about 1:00):


What do you think of Jaleel White's ongoing drama? Do you think it's all blown out of proportion?

Image via JaleelWhite.com

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