As Brian Austin Green said former pro "Cheryl Burke should have been there as well," his fiancée Sharna Burgess admitted on her Instagram Story, "This hurt more than not being asked back"
On Wednesday, the Beverly Hills, 90210 star, 50, expressed his disappointment with Burgess’s former costars for not calling out her absence from the tribute, which saw the return of pros Maks Chmerkovskiy, Kym Johnson-Herjavec, Tony Dovolani, Karina Smirnoff, Anna Trebunskaya, Edyta Śliwińska, Louis van Amstel and Mark Ballas.
“I can’t begin to tell you how disappointed I was for @sharnaburgess to not be invited for the tribute last night,” he wrote on Instagram. “It’s disappointing as well that none of her ‘family in the ballroom’ stuck up for her and spoke out."
"She’s an incredible soul and has always been a friend to everyone," he continued. "She deserved better. #familystickstogether”
Green also addressed fellow pro Cheryl Burke's absence in the caption of his post, saying Burke, 39, also should've been invited to the tribute along with Burgess, 38.
“She wasn’t even invited to sit in the stands and watch. Shame on that group of people. Kindness is an action, and so is love @cherylburke should have been there as well,” he wrote.
On her own Instagram Story posted earlier in the day, Burgess addressed the news, writing over a selfie: "My man has seen me be super upset (again) about the show I love. Last night was hard and he listened to me while I shared my heart. I haven't made a single comment publicly about the tribute because of a few reasons. Firstly... I know it's not about me. It's about Len and the honor he deserved."
She continued, "Secondly, this hurt more than not being asked back and I'm working through it. Thirdly, sharing feelings on here often gets met with a few negative people who believe I didn't deserve to be there anyway. So why open myself up to it? But, my man that loves me deeply and has listened to me share and cry had enough and shared his frustration. He, like me, just didn't understand why. I love him for wanting to defend me even though he didn't need to. I would do the same. No doubt we fight hardest for those we love when we tend to just take whatever is thrown at us in our own life."
Burgess concluded, "The tribute was stunning and I cried watching. Tears of celebration and joy and gratitude for how much Len did for the ballroom and for all of our careers. The performance was perfect and classic and technically brilliant. Val and Jenna created magic and Len absolutely would've loved it. Remember 2 things can be true. I can love and support the show, feel joy for those who were there and also feel sad about me not being there."
ABC did not immediately return PEOPLE’s request for comment.
Green’s comments after the current and returning pro dancers performed an emotional tribute for Goodman, who died at age 78 in April 2023, to Henry Mancini's "Moon River” on Tuesday’s episode of Dancing with the Stars.
The performance included a video tribute with the pros discussing Goodman's impact before finishing with a spotlight on Goodman's former chair at the judges' desk. The crowd then rose to their feet and applauded, and the rest of the pros and judges broke down in tears.
Prior to the show, Burke claimed she was not asked to return to the ballroom for the special performance.
“For those of you asking if I’ll be a part of Len Goodman’s tribute next week on DWTS, unfortunately, I wasn’t invited however, I’ll be there in spirit and can’t wait to cheer my former colleagues on!” she wrote on Threads. “Sending love and light to everyone. 🤍🙏🏼 #riplen”
“Mr. Len Goodman. Thank you for being the face of ballroom dancing and always standing by what was right, no matter what," she wrote in part. "You are such a huge part of the reason why Dancing with the Stars is a massive hit as the premise is about teaching celebrities how to ballroom dance, and the word 'ballroom' before the word 'dance' was all because of your many decades worth of knowledge and experience.”
She went on to praise his “tough love and no B.S. approach,” and shared that Goodman’s “respect for the art and sport of ballroom dance showed me and millions of people how much you truly cared.”
Burgess previously opened up about the disappointment she felt when she wasn’t asked to participate in the latest season of DWTS.
During an episode of her iHeart Radio podcast Old-Ish, the professional dancer explained how she temporarily took a leave of absence last year after having a baby and fully expected to return to the series.
“Last season I was supposed to come back but Zane was only eight weeks old… It just felt like I needed to sit in motherhood with Zane,” she said in a conversation with Green. “It was always, ‘I want to come back next year,’ and ‘Of course, we love you, we’ll always have you.'”
According to the DWTS pro, she learned she wouldn’t be receiving an invite when her costars began getting calls to return and her phone remained silent.
“Because it was such a shock, because I wasn’t expecting it, it was tough,” Burgess confessed before referencing the time she wasn’t asked to return for season 27. “It’s not the first time. My last five years on the show have been rocky — not because of the show.”
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Dancing with the Stars airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC and Disney+.
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