Actor/model William Levy is a major telenovela star with one of the biggest Twitter followings in the Dancing With the Stars Season 14 cast. He’s obviously handsome and popular and since he’s paired with Cheryl Burke, we’re thinking he’ll be the next Gilles Marini or Cristian de la Fuente — both foreign-born hotties who made the finals with Cheryl on their respective DWTS seasons. Here are five more things to know about William.
1. His name has a family history
He was born William Levy Gutierrez in Cuba but emigrated to Florida in 1985, when he was 14. As he told Entertainment Tonight, he got his first name, William, from a guy who tried to get his family out of the country back in 1980, when his mom was pregnant. Levy is his mom's last name; his grandfather was Jewish and he kept that name. In 2009, he converted to Catholicism.
2. He's a single dad
From 2003-2011, William was in a relationship with Mexican-American actress Elizabeth Gutierrez. They have two children together, Christopher Alexander and Kailey Alexandra. They broke up in May 2011, shortly after William was featured in Jennifer Lopez's video for "I'm Into You." Elizabeth released a statement about the breakup, seeming to reference the J.Lo romance rumors: "Insistent rumors aside, I've always stood next to William because back then I never had a reason to doubt the strength of our union. I have decided to end this relationship for the well-being of my children and myself. I must confess this wasn't an easy decision, but as a person, a women and a mother, I owe myself respect." William splits his time between Los Angeles, Mexico City and Miami, where his children live with their mom. In an interview with People En Español back in August, William said he's open to another relationship. "If something happens tomorrow with someone I know, that would be welcome because I love love. But, I'm focused on my work, my kids, my family."
3. Being “Into” J.Lo was just work
Despite the timing of his relationship's end and the end of Jennifer Lopez's marriage to Marc Anthony, William told Entertainment Tonight his relationship with J.Lo was just work and it was tough to have to listen to all of the rumors. "I was going through the same thing at that moment. I was going through a hard time in my life with my babies' mom ... It's not a nice place to be in. I don't like breaking up families. It's not my thing. So when I heard these rumors, right away I went out [to refuse them] because as long as I have known her, she didn't seem like the kind of girl to do something like that either. ... It was work. It was a great time. We had a great time together. And that's it. That was all."
4. He’s sexy and, um, not afraid to show it … all
William, dubbed "The Latin Brad Pitt," was on the cover of People En Español for its 2011 Sexiest Man issue. You can also see totally NSFW (Not Suitable For Work) and basically nude photos of William modeling sheer underwear right here. So … he’s clearly going to be fine taking his shirt off to get sexy on the dance floor. Anything for votes, right?
5. He was part of a weird sex scandal
According to People Magazine, in August 2010 a woman accused William of sexual battery, saying she was 17 when they had sex. She allegedly blackmailed William to keep quiet. He counter-sued for infliction of emotional distress and defamation. As Courthouse News Service reported, William “demanded $10 million from a Los Angeles attorney and his clients, claiming they tried to extort $950,000 from him with false accusations that he forced a girl to perform oral sex on him, and gave her a venereal disease.” William acknowledged that he spent time alone with the woman in his hotel room on the night of July 18-19, but claims she told him she was 19 years old and disputed the other allegations as maliciously misstating the facts. The whole thing sounds weird, but the case was settled privately in July 2011.
Dancing With the Stars Season 14 premieres Monday, March 19 at 8 pm ET/PT on ABC.
For more news about Dancing With the Stars, Like us on Facebook and Follow us on Twitter.