A staple of cable movies in recent years — encompassing her role as the sinister sibling in Lifetime’s “A Sister’s Revenge,” which debuts Saturday, April 27 — the “Baywatch” veteran confirms she was approached about competing in ABC’s Tuesday diving contest, which features fellow “Baywatch” alum Nicole Eggert, as well as on FOX’s January special “Stars in Danger: The High Dive.”
Burns’ decision not to take part in either show wasn’t overly surprising, since a 2005 diving accident left her with a broken neck. She has recovered, with significant help from a surgically installed titanium plate and rod, but other residual effects remain with her.
“Breaking my neck was probably the most devastating thing that I’ve ever been through in my life,” Burns tells Zap2it. “It threatened not only my life, but my mobility and my ability to be the kind of mom that I want to be to my child.
“I didn’t really feel the need to be a part of a show where [diving is] done for laughs. The accident was really traumatic for me, so I decided it was probably not the best fit for me at the time. I’ve had problems even stepping next to a pool at certain times because of the post-traumatic stress that happens, being very emotional about it, so I didn’t want to marry myself to a show that makes light of [diving].”
Since the accident, Burns adds, she has aimed to repurpose her experience to help others: “My relationship to the water has always been one of healing, and I still feel that way. I’ve tried to use having broken my neck to bring awareness to spinal-cord-injury victims, to try to do something good and positive with it.”