After a tearful James Van Der Beek revealed on ‘DWTS’ that he and Kimberly Brook lost the baby they were expecting, his dance partner, Emma Slater, spoke about how his wife ‘inspired’ him to stay in the competition.
“I feel disappointment that [James Van Der Beek] couldn’t get to shine his light in the finale,” Emma Slater told reporters following the Nov. 18 episode of Dancing With The Stars. Not only were James, 42, and Emma, 30, eliminated from the competition, but James revealed that his wife, Kimberly Brook, suffered a miscarriage. “I wish we could have been in the finale, not for myself, but for James,” said Emma. “It’s always about the partner. Of course, I want to be there, but this is about James. On top of the week he’s had…I feel like I want to protect him, and he wasn’t protected.”
After wiping away her tears, Emma revealed how James found the fortitude to compete in the DWTS semi-finals after suffering such a heartbreaking loss. “Honestly, his strength is Kimberly, his wife. She’s the most inspirational, high-spirited person I know. She was not having…him staying at home. She was making sure [he came here], pushing him out the door. He’s been torn; she’s the person who said, ‘I need you to go [out] there and dance and show everyone how great you are. And sine.’ That’s what he did tonight..”
“That’s why I wish the outcome could have been different, and we could have gone to the finale, and she could have come and seen us dance again,” added Emma. “[Kimberly] wasn’t able to be here tonight. The other thing that kept him going through … he needed the show. He said to me, ‘I need the show. I’m grateful to have an outlet and to have a form of physical expression and keep that engine to keep me going. I need to feel normal and not fall into the pit.’”
After James and Sasha were eliminated, singer Ally Brooke broke down and asked if she could give her slot in the final to James. As the credits rolled, her partner, pro dancer Sasha Farber, leaned in to comfort James. “Sasha kept saying, ‘I’m so sorry.’ He never gets upset,” said Emma. “Ally was saying to Tom [Bergeron] and then to James ‘I’m so sorry. You deserve to be there; take my place.’ Which is ridiculous. She deserves to be there, too. Everybody does. James is so supportive of everybody; it’s easy for me to say that. Everyone loves him around here. Ally was crying, trying to comfort his daughter who was upset. I need to see James and just give him a hug.”
James and Kimberly were expecting baby no. 6 when the tragedy struck. “The little soul that we had expected to welcome into the family took a shortcut to whatever lies beyond. You never know why these things happen, that’s what I’ve been telling my kids,” James said during DWTS. Later, Kimberly explained on Instagram that she also “almost lost my life, which is not a story has been told.” She added that at some point, she can “dig into the details about what happened in the emergency room.”