Credit: Craig Sjodin/ABC Photo: Ron Artest and Dance Pro Peta Murgatroyd

He may look like the kind of guy you don’t want to piss off, but according to Dancing With the Stars pro dancer, Peta Murgatroyd, her partner Ron Artest has a heart of gold.

“He’s so not frightening, and he’s totally not what people have perceived him to be,” she told Wetpaint Entertainment exclusively on Fashion’s Night Out in Westfield, Century City. “He’s like a gentle giant He’s this big 6’7” guy and he’s got the softest voice, and he gives the biggest, warmest hugs every day and he’s just a lovely guy.”

In fact, if Peta has any criticism for her dance partner it’s that he’s a tad too non-aggressive at the moment. “He struggles to grab me and throw me because he doesn’t want to hurt me,” she says. “He’s really lovely like that. I have to tell him to man-handle me a bit more.”

But Peta’s not worried about her partner’s dancing skills. “He’s getting there,” she tells us. “He’s got rhythm. And he can shake his booty, so we’re going to use his character to the best of our ability.”

What does have her slightly concerned is the fallout over the casting of Chaz Bono.


“It’s totally out of order,” she says, defending the transgender activist. “I’ve heard ridiculous things on the internet like, moms won’t let their children watch the show anymore, and it boggles me. It’s ridiculous. And it shouldn’t matter! I think everyone needs to get over it and move on.”