“Cheer” Coach Monica Aldama Explained Why Jerry Harris’ Sexual Abuse Charges “Took The Breath” Out Of Her

“I was just taken aback.”

This article contains discussion of sexual abuse and misconduct.

The acclaimed Netflix docuseries Cheer returns for a second season this Wednesday, Jan. 12.

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Harris was arrested in September of 2020 on suspicion of producing child pornography, and in December of that year, additional child pornography charges were brought against him, as well as one count of enticing a minor to engage in sexual activity.

In an interview with Tamron Hall set to air this Wednesday (via People), Navarro coach and Cheer star Monica Aldama publicly addressed the allegations against Harris for the first time.

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Aldama revealed that she found out about the charges against Harris when an executive producer informed her during a dress rehearsal for Dancing with the Stars.

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Aldama competed on the 29th season of DWTS in 2020.

“I was on the stage,” she recalled. “We were about to go into the full dress rehearsal and that’s when the executive producer came up to me and asked me if I had seen the headlines and, of course, I had not.”

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“I was just taken aback and it kind of took the breath out of me for a minute, and all I could read is the headline. I couldn’t read the actual article.”

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Aldama went on to say that she told the producer she wouldn’t be able to read about the charges until after the shoot had ended that night — and that she still hasn’t read the article the producer pointed her to.

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“I couldn’t read anything,” she said. “I had to stay emotionally strong because I was already a wreck thinking about doing Dancing with the Stars. I just tried to hold back until I got through that night and let all the emotions pour in.”

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The second season of Cheer — specifically, the first episode — will address the charges against Harris and will feature interviews with his accusers. It premieres Jan. 12.

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If you or someone you know has experienced sexual assault, you can call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE, which routes the caller to their nearest sexual assault service provider. You can also search for your local center here.

If you are concerned that a child is experiencing or may be in danger of abuse, you can call or text the National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-422-2253 (4.A.CHILD); service can be provided in over 140 languages.