Up for the challenge. Cheryl Burke is getting candid about her divorce from Matthew Lawrence, admitting it has “100 percent” tested her sobriety — but not for the reasons you might think.
“It’s not like I miss the act of drinking. I don’t. I never liked the taste of it. It was just for the effect,” she exclusively told Us Weekly while promoting her “Burke in the Game” podcast. “Absolutely, I’ve thought about it, especially [when] I’m home alone.”
Burke, 38, revealed she had been sober for three years after calling herself a “functioning drunk” during an episode of the “Heart of the Matter” podcast in 2021. Now that she is living alone post-split from Boy Meets World alum Lawrence, 42, the dancer is doing her best to find peace in being on her own.
“I’ve lived in this home for 15 years and I’ve had lots of memories as you can imagine,” she told Us. “It’s a new, quiet in my life. And there are times I love it. [Then] there are times that I’m, like, really conscious about it and I’m observing my thoughts and I’m like, ‘Wow, the peace is quiet.’ I have definitely put in a lot of new energy in trying to make this kind of like my Zen.”
The DWTS alum announced her split from her estranged husband in March after three years of marriage. While Burke said that the “word dating still makes her nauseous,” her iHeart Radio podcast will follow her along in the next chapter of her life.
“I like to think that I can micromanage everything around me and somehow come out with the result that I want when it never works,” she explained to Us. “So I was like, ‘OK, as long as you guys respect the fact that I’m not ready to date at the moment.’ They are coming along this journey with me as I’m going through this divorce, which isn’t easy, and it probably will be good for me to test out being vulnerable and trying to surrender to this experiment because [that] is what it is. It’s an experiment.”
The California native told Us that she “signed her life away” to iHeart and things will get get “deep very quickly, explaining, “We’ve got my podcast dad Sam Rubin KTLA. He is there cohosting it with me. … And he really asks questions to my therapist like, ‘Is Cheryl ready to date? What type of men does she need? Why is she a bad picker?’ We go there, and she goes there to the point where she tests me sometimes.”
The ballet dancer added that the show won’t focus on her divorce, but it will touch on her past relationships and taking accountability for why they didn’t work out.
“It takes two to tango and something that we can’t control is the other person,” she explained. “So I think what people are hopefully hearing is the fact that I’m taking ownership of my side of the street and I wanna take full accountability because there is no point of pointing the finger when I actually can’t change that person it’s just a waste of time. And I’m just learning this through therapy. It’s a recent discovery for me when it comes to accountability. And I also expect that from people, whether they’re a friend, a partnership, a coworker, like, accountability is very important for me at least.”
Burke and Lawrence met in 2007 and dated for a year before breaking up. The pair rekindled their romance in February 2017 and quickly began talking about spending forever together.
“I’ve never seen Cheryl so happy and so at peace,” a source exclusively told Us at the time. “Matt is a wonderful presence in her life, and I can see this being it for her.”
The Pennsylvania native popped the question in May 2018 before getting married a year later at the Fairmont Grand Del Mar in San Diego.
The “Pretty Messed Up” podcast host revealed in June 2017 that she decided to cut out alcohol from her life. She celebrated two years of sobriety in September 2020, crediting the Jumping Ship actor for his constant support in her sobriety.
“He is just my rock. I don’t know where I would be without him,” Burke said on Good Morning America in October 2020. “When you make a decision, a big decision, a life-altering decision, your friends will change. And, you know, some people will support it. Some people won’t. And at the end of the day, you have to be OK with this.”
Reporting by Christina Garibaldi