While the two bonded on the ballroom floor–competing on both season 12 in 2011, where they finished in second place, and on an all-star season a year later, their relationship eventually became problematic.
The trouble began when ex-scientologist Leah Remini joined the cast of DWTS season 17 cast. The two were not partnered, but became friends. Alley, a devoted Scientologist, called Remini a “bigot” for her remarks about the church.
Kirstie Alley “disconnected” from Maks Leah Remini friendship
“I thought we had a great relationship and if it was something else or not, I don’t know. But I got a message that now that I’m associating with other people that she can’t be associated with, I am no longer to be spoken with, and sorry, but that is what it is,” Maks said on Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen in 2014, adding that he doesn’t believe in “science fiction.”
“I love people. I don’t judge them … my best friend is Muslim,” he added. “I just feel like, you know, it’s sad that we’ve gone through so much together, and I feel like I’ve helped her and this is where we’re at now, but I still think the world of her and I wish her the best.”
Alley posted a weird and controversial response via Twitter: “Dear Sir..after you have a** r*ped me there is really no reason to include ‘I wish you the best’ … It’s rhetorical.”
“Scientology happened,” he told US Magazine later when asked about their relationship “You can thank Leah Remini for that. A note was sent to a friend telling me I was ‘disconnected,’ as in, I am no longer allowed to be Kirstie’s friend. I find it ridiculous for an adult human being to ‘disconnect’ from someone. But everyone is entitled to their own insanity.”
Maksim and Alley at odds over Ukraine war
Recently, the two got into it over the war in Ukraine. Maks was stranded in his home country when Russia first invaded. He’s been fundraising and bringing awareness to the conflict ever since he returned to America.
But Alley, a conservative Trump supporter, questioned the war: “I don’t know what’s real or what is fake in this war,” Alley tweeted in February 2022. “So I won’t be commenting. I’ll pray instead.”
“No one needs your prayer if you don’t know what’s real or fake,” Maks fired back.
“So @KirstieAlley can comment on things she knows nothing about like mental health, psychiatric drugs, and virology, but she won’t comment on Putin who is an evil tyrant?,” Remini chimed in on Instagram. “No comment about Russia invading Ukraine? The killing of innocent people? The displacement of Ukrainians? … Scientologists aren’t allowed to believe in anything else other than Scientology. So who is she praying to?”
“Almost Time to take off the gloves. I have a curtesy policy to not publicly reveal secrets about other celebs, but I’m done with the public lies and covert jabs. And not so covert,” Alley responded. “Don’t get too excited there are only two… but two too many never the less. One shoots her mouth off and has an IQ of about 75 and the other one like you to think he’s a hero … gotta plot this out.”
Maks Chmerkovskiy offers a bittersweet tribute to Kirstie Alley
But now that Alley has died, Maks offers a conciliatory message via Instagram.
“We haven’t spoken lately and I’ll tell you everything when I finally see you, but for now I want to say that I love you very much and I wish you the most peaceful rest,” Maks wrote. “You were one of the most unique people I have ever met and easily one of the brightest moments of my personal and professional life.”
He continued, “Some of our relationship is heavily documented. Most of it is known to select few. All of it was like a wild rollercoaster. From Maude to DJ Lil Buttercup you were always all in for life,” Maks added. “As I’m typing this, memories of our time together rush to my head, I remember how absolutely wild you were and I start to tear up. Something you’d absolutely hate. And now I can’t help but smile because I remembered exactly what you wanted me to say at your funeral. Don’t think I can do it here…”
He ended his bittersweet message, “I thought you’d be around forever. I wish we spoke often. Thank you for everything. I love you Kirstie Alley. RIP”