Mauricio Umansky and Emma Slater told fans they are not dating after they photographed holding hands during a break from Dancing with the Stars rehearsals. The pair filmed a video for Mauricio’s Instagram Stories on October 26 while preparing for their next performance on the ABC competition series and clarified that they are nothing more than dance partners and friends.
“We do want to address this story and this whole thing that’s going out and about about whether Emma and I are dating,” Mauricio, 53, said after his estranged wife, Kyle Richards, reacted to the dating rumors the night prior on Watch What Happens Live. “For full clarity, we are not dating,” he added.
“We’re not dating!” Emma, 34, interjected while standing behind Mauricio at the dance studio. Mauricio said they’re just “really good friends,” while Emma explained that the pair have formed a “special bond” from the “intense” work that goes into the show.
“I think we’re similar personalities, so we’ve got a super supportive relationship,” Emma said about herself and Mauricio. “We’re definitely there for each other. And it’s beautiful, that’s a great thing.”
— The DWTS Report (@dwtsreport) October 26, 2023
The Buying Beverly Hills star, who split from his wife of 27 years earlier this year, then explained the truth behind the pictures of him and Emma holding hands on October 22.
“Just to clarify, we went to a restaurant to go get some sushi right after rehearsal. We were in our rehearsal clothes. Lots of the stories are wrong. Lots of them,” he said. “It’s a very emotional week. We were talking about the week during dinner and when we came out of dinner, we were recapping and I reached out to grab Emma’s hand, and she grabbed my hand, and then we walked to the cars just recapping and summarizing. The paparazzi caught that moment and it’s become a blown-out moment.”
“And then all of a sudden we’re dating,” Emma added with a laugh. Mauricio signed off by telling fans they’re going to “keep on dancing” and “keep on having fun” on the show together.
The dancing partners addressed the rumors about their relationship one day after Kyle, 54, speculated that her estranged husband might have moved on with Emma following their separation. The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star told Andy Cohen on his late-night show that she was “taken aback” and “hurt” by the PDA photos of Mauricio and Emma, and that there is “something there” between the two stars. “Listen, I love him very much and we are amicable,” Kyle added about Mauricio, “but that really did hurt me.” The mom-of-four also confirmed she deleted her supportive DWTS posts on Instagram after seeing the pictures of Mauricio and Emma but still voted for them.
News of Kyle and Mauricio’s separation broke in early July. At the time, the reality stars put out a statement asserting that no divorce was in the works. They’ve since confirmed that they’re separated, with Kyle revealing on WWHL that the former couple still live together but are sleeping in separate bedrooms. Their relationship woes will play out on the new season of RHOBH that premiered October 25.