Jerry Springer: ‘Dancing’ With His Daughter

CHICAGO (October 10, 2006) — After his performance on “Dancing With The Stars” last week, Jerry Springer stepped off the floor to give his daughter – and the inspiration for his appearance on the show – Katie, a hug and a kiss, and there wasn?t a dry eye in the house.

Access Hollywood’s Tony Potts met Katie after the show that night and discovered she was full of opinions, passion and love. So he asked Jerry if he could visit he and his daughter in Chicago to speak to them about their incredible bond, something they?ve never before spoken about on television. Graciously, he said yes, and that led to a very special Access Interview.

?I?ve been in front of a camera for 30 years,? Jerry tells Tony. ?And that was the best one-and-a-half minutes on television I’ve ever had personally because I was dancing for an audience of one.?

And it was that moment that changed many people?s opinion of a man who has been called ?The King of Trash TV? into one of a devoted, proud father.

Katie, for one, was incredibly moved by her father?s waltz.

?It started and the tears welled up in my eyes and it was a beautiful dance. I do think he was robbed, I do think he should have gotten all 10s, but you know, I’m biased,? Katie smiled.

Thirty-year-old Katie is Jerry?s only child and was born without nasal passages, a condition which was fixed through surgery right after she was born. She is also legally blind and deaf in one ear, but refused to let any disabilities slow her down. These days she is an assistant teacher at Chicago?s Park School, dedicating her life to children with special needs.

?I love what I do,? she says, ?and I get a lot out of it. I remember on occasion being in the worst mood, walking into the school, by the end of the day I’m humming.?

In just a few months, Katie will be a bride, and to ensure her wedding waltz with her father will be a good one, Jerry has arranged for Kym Johnson, his partner on “Dancing With The Stars,” to tutor them both.

And as Jerry continues to dance on the show, the irony is not lost on him that he didn?t want to be a contestant in the first place. In fact, he only signed on so he could learn how to dance well enough to waltz with Katie on her big day.

“I originally told them no, I didn’t want to do it,” he admits, “I don’t know how to dance and I didn’t think it was appropriate. But then I talked with Katie about it and we thought, you know what, this could be a way to combine what I do in life, which is show business, with the wedding. But actually it’s not much different than Katie’s life. The lesson of life, which you teach your children, is that whatever hand you’re dealt, you go out there and do the best you can and you don’t worry about how good anyone else might be, you don’t worry about vanity of ?Oh, I’m going to look silly.? Katie lives her whole life like that, so I can do it in a dance.?

Katie, for one, agrees with her dad.

?He’s been teaching me that lesson my whole life, because I’ve heard this story that when I was first born and they heard about all these problems, they just said, we’re never going to treat her different, we’re going to make sure she knows she’s not different. Look at me now. About to get married, live independently, have a wonderful career. If you give your kids wings, they’ll fly,” she concluded.

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