Who Is Sean Avery? 7 Things to Know About Dancing With the Stars Season 18 Celeb
Credit: Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images    

Dancing With The Stars

Who Is Sean Avery? 7 Things to Know About Dancing With the Stars Season 18 Celeb

Sean Avery is the first former pro hockey player to compete on Dancing With the Stars. The 33-year-old Canadian played for the Detroit Red Wings, Los Angeles Kings, Dallas Stars, and New York Rangers, but he’s also done a lot of other stuff you might not expect. Here are seven things to know about the lucky guy who got paired with last season’s pro runner-up, Karina Smirnoff

1. He was a Vogue intern. Sean isn’t just a jock, he’s a total clotheshorse. In 2008, he spent his summer off-season as an intern at Vogue. As if that isn't surprising enough, in the same year, a movie was reportedly put into development at New Line Cinema about Sean's hockey player fashion adventures. And they said the genre was romantic comedy! Sean has also worked as a model, and he he had a starring role in the 7 For All Mankind campaign's trio of films, A Beautiful Odyssey, directed by actor James Franco. Still on the fashion side, he was also a guest judge on Project Runway: All Stars and he appeared on Fashion Police. And he told On the Red Carpet he’s OK with DWTS costumes as long as he has sleeves on everything and no “deep Vs.”

2. He has a weird connection to Erin Andrews’s boyfriend. This is so high school, but Sean is an outspoken guy and he’s been involved in a few controversies. He did some trash talking back in 2008, before a hockey game, and told reporters, “I just want to comment on how it's become like a common thing in the NHL for guys to fall in love with my sloppy seconds. I don't know what that's about, but enjoy the game tonight.” The “sloppy seconds” line got him into some trouble. At the time, Dion Phaneuf was dating Sean’s ex-girlfriend, actress Elisha Cuthbert, and Jarret Stoll — who is now dating DWTS co-host Erin Andrews — was dating model Rachel Hunter, who had also dated Sean. So… awkward. Sean apologized the next day, but not before the NHL suspended him for his conduct.

Who Is Sean Avery? 7 Things to Know About Dancing With the Stars Season 18 Celeb
Credit: Todd Wawrychuk/ABC    

3. He got engaged in November. There’s no showmance ahead for Sean and Karina — he just got engaged to model Hilary Rhoda in November. According to Us Weekly, they had been dating on and off for three years before rekindling their relationship this past May. Hilary walked in the Victoria's Secret fashion show in November, and she's the face of Estee Lauder.

4. He was previously rumored to be engaged to Andy Cohen! Sean is good friends with Bravo honcho Andy Cohen, and somehow rumors started this past September that they were engaged. “Sean Avery is straight," Andy said at the time. "As in, [he's] not into men!" When Sean’s engagement was revealed in November, Andy tweeted, "Mazel @imseanavery on your REAL engagement! You and Hilary make a better couple than you and me!" Point to ponder, though: Since both Sean and Real Housewives star NeNe Leakes are on DWTS Season 18, will Andy vote for both or secretly back one over the other?

5. He’s big on marriage equality. Sean is a vocal supporter for same-sex marriage rights, and in 2011 he recorded a video for the Human Rights Campaign’s New Yorkers for Marriage Equality. Also in 2011, he paired up with Sex and the City star Cynthia Nixon and they traveled to Albany, New York to lobby lawmakers on the issue of gay marriage. Maybe he should use that connection and convince Cynthia to do DWTS next season!

6. He's dancing for a cause. During their first On the Red Carpet interview after the cast announcement, Karina noted that Sean is dancing for the charity Friends In Deed. Sean described it as "one big giant support group for people that are living with somebody that's terminal with HIV. It started in New York in SoHo where I live." Get more details here.

7. They're working on his smile. Sean didn't do any kind of dance when he was introduced on Good Morning America, and he has kind of an intense, intimidating expression. Is he too serious for this? He and Karina told On the Red Carpet they're working on getting him to smile more. "I'm saving all the big smiles," he teased. He has a dry sense of humor, Karina said. She likes it, and she thinks DWTS will give America a chance to see the real Sean.

Are you rooting for Sean and Karina this season? DWTS Season 18 premieres Monday, March 17 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

Sources: On the Red Carpet, Us Weekly, Bravo, On Top Magazine, New York Magazine, ESPN, Elle