Dance Moms star Abby Lee Miller prepares for prison: I will 'pretend I'm shooting a movie'
Alright, Mr. DeMille: Abby Lee Miller is ready for her close-up.
In a Tuesday morning interview that recalled the sentiment fueling the closing moments of the Billy Wilder classic Sunset Boulevard, the Dance Moms star told Good Morning America she’s going to treat her upcoming prison stay like a Hollywood production. “I’m just going to pretend I’m shooting a movie and we’re on set and I’m there for 10 months, and that’s how it’s going to be,” Miller told ABC’s Linsey Davis.
On Monday, the 50-year-old reality star was sentenced to 366 days in prison after allegedly hiding $775,000 from bankruptcy creditors between 2012 and 2013. She was first indicted on fraud charges in 2015, after reportedly concealing earnings from the long-running Lifetime program and its subsequent spinoff, Abby’s Ultimate Dance Competition, during Chapter 11 proceedings.
Additionally, she was accused of transporting $120,000 (in individual plastic bags) from Austalia in friends’ luggage in 2014, violating a mandate that requires the declaration of more than $10,000 in foreign currency when it crosses domestic borders.
“A year and a day… it sounds like a movie title,” Miller continued, referencing the length of her sentence.
Davis then asked her what’s next for her, both personally and professionally. Responding through tears, Miller said: “To be a smarter businesswoman, and also to worry about myself. I have spent so much time and so much energy making other people’s children stars. I didn’t have any children of my own, these were my kids, and I raised them like they were my kids.”
“[I was not trying to hide the money] intentionally, no, and I wasn’t ever trying to hurt anyone,” she continued, though the U.S. Attorney’s Office told ABC Miller, who rose to prominence at the center of the show as a no-nonsense dance instructor for young girls, “secreted and structured profits that she derived outside the United States from performances by children,” and that her actions “undermined our justice system.”
Miller must report to federal prison within the next 44 days. She told Davis she plans to catch up on reading and learn Spanish while behind bars, and that she’s currently working on a new book.
Miller previously told PEOPLE that she’s worried about how she will be treated in prison. “I’m afraid of being physically abused or raped,” she said in May. “I have to stay busy. If I thought about it every day, I’d just sit around and cry.”
Watch GMA‘s full interview with Miller above.