Jillian Michaels parted ways with "The Biggest Loser" for the third time last month as announced in a statement released by NBC. Now, she has opened up about the reason why she really left the reality series.
"There were some fundamental differences [with the show's producers] that have existed for a while," she tells People magazine. Detailing it, she claims that the show's principle has now changed. "In the beginning of the show it was tough love. You saw the tough, and you saw the love," she says, adding that in more recent episodes, "You saw none of the relationships, none of the bonds that I build with my clients."
Because of this, "millions of people have this warped negative perception of me," Michaels claims. She was called "abusive," another commented "about what kind of mom I must be," and worse she was accused of cheating by allowing her team to take caffeine pills. She recalls that one day she picked up her daughter from camp, someone had told her little girl, "I know who your mom is - she's a cheater. I saw it on TV."
She finally realized that she "had to take a hard look at my work." The 40-year-old personal trainer adds, "I came to the conclusion that moving forward, I need to be able to have an impact on the outcome of what I do."
Of why she thinks she needs to explain the reason she left "Biggest Loser", Michaels says, "I don't want fans to think I feel like I'm too big for the show or that I'm seeking greener pastures. I'm so grateful to the show and so sad to leave."
This isn't the first time Michaels parted ways with the show. She first joined the show in its debut in 2004 and later quit in 2006, only to return in 2007. She left the show again in 2011, but returned for season 14 and 15 which aired in 2013.
Her latest departure came after controversy about winner Rachel Frederickson's shocking weight loss in season 15 finale. A source said in March that Michaels was "deeply concerned about the direction the show has been taking. She is turned off by the mean-spirited story lines and poor care of the contestants."
The source further said, "Michaels wants to distance herself from the 'Biggest Loser' brand. Especially considering what happened with Rachel, her feeling is that there isn't proper attention paid to the contestants' health or wellness."