Karina Smirnoff in Playboy Could Get 'Dancing' Star in Hot Water
By Rob Shuter Posted Apr 7th 2011 12:02PM
Playboy founder Hugh Hefner announced on Wednesday that the "May issue of Playboy is unforgettable with Dancing With the Stars' Karina Smirnoff on the cover and nude inside," causing people backstage at the hit family show to freak out.
"If Karina posed naked, she can kiss her dancing days goodbye," a 'DWTS' insider told me immediately after hearing of Hef's announcement on Twitter. "I hope for Karina's sake that this isn't true."
Oh, but it looks to be true as Us Weekly says they've confirmed, though Karina's rep has yet to respond and ABC told me they weren't commenting. In the meantime, the sexy dancer will continue to wow audiences each week with surprise favorite 'Karate Kid' Ralph Macchio. However, the biggest surprise is going to come later this month when the May issue of Playboy hits newsstands.
Given Ralph and Karina's popularity so far this season, it seems more than likely that they will still be foxtrotting away when the issue is released to the world.
The immediate response of ABC, I'm told, is that having one of their dancers pose naked during an ongoing season could "soil" the wholesome show's image.
"ABC publicity department controls the image of this show with an iron fist. It's a cash cow and they are not going to allow its reputation to be soiled by a dancer who wants to do Playboy," an ABC source tells me.
Aside from getting into hot water with family-TV fans and the network, I'm told that Karina may have violated the terms of her contract by posing for the venerable lad mag without getting her bosses to sign off on it.
It wouldn't be the first time a member of the 'DWTS' family has had to be stopped.
"Just a few weeks ago, ABC PR stopped [the show's host] Tom Bergeron from doing a live webcast with an outlet they didn't approve of. I can only imagine is going on right now after Hef's tweet."
Karina also wouldn't be the only person on the ballroom floor who has posed naked in Playboy. Hugh has visited the ballroom several times to cheer on his former girlfriend Kendra Wilkinson as a contestant on the show, but obviously he was paying close attention to another lady on the dance floor.
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