Amanda Abbington brands Giovanni Pernice 'nasty and awful' as she breaks silence

Amanda Abbington has spoken out about her clash with Giovanni Pernice, harshly labelling him "nasty and awful".

The 33-year-old Strictly professional dancer Giovanni is currently embroiled in controversy over claims of "threatening and abusive" behaviour during rehearsals on Strictly Come Dancing, allegations he vehemently denies.

The BBC has reportedly initiated an internal probe following complaints from his former dance partners on the show, including TV host Laura Whitmore and actress Amanda Abbington.

Amanda alleges that her stint on Strictly last year left her suffering from PTSD.

Reports emerged last week suggesting that Giovanni's representatives claimed he had asked the BBC to record their practice sessions due to concerns over Amanda's conduct. However, Amanda has robustly refuted these assertions in a statement to Mail+.

Countering the allegations, Amanda, aged 55, is reported to have retorted: "I asked for them to be recorded, it was me. Giovanni is nasty. He was awful to a few of us, a group of us", reports the Mirror.

She reportedly discussed the severe toll the ongoing dispute has taken on her life.

"You don't understand how awful this all is," she expressed. "Giovanni's fans have begun trolling me. I've had to quit social media and I'm receiving death threats."

She concluded by saying: "All of this because I didn't enjoy a television programme. I didn't enjoy it because of all of this."

The BBC has issued a statement in response to widespread media coverage about the show and the professional dancer, without directly naming Strictly or Giovanni. They emphasised their commitment to duty of care and addressed the handling of complaints.

The BBC appears to have addressed the ongoing probe into Strictly Come Dancing star Giovanni Pernice's behaviour
Amanda Abbington claims to have been left with PTSD as a result of Giovanni's behaviour on the show -Credit:BBC

Their statement declared: "It is a longstanding position that the BBC does not comment on specific matters related to individuals. Nor ordinarily, would we comment on whether we are reviewing any individual complaints."

"Recently, we have seen a number of media reports about a high profile show. We would urge people not to indulge in speculation. Anyone involved in a complaint has a right to confidentiality and fair process."

"If a complaint is made to the BBC, we assess and take any necessary steps to establish the facts, whether there is a case to answer, and, if appropriate, what action should be taken. This is all within the context of the BBC having duties of care to everyone linked to a complaint - that applies to those that have raised the complaint and to those that have been complained about."

"Whilst we know our shows have been positive experiences for many of those who have taken part, we will always look at any issues raised with care, fairness and sensitivity to everyone concerned. We will not be commenting further."

The statement did not mention the show or the professional dancer, and it was added that there would be no further comment on the allegations. This follows weeks of reports related to claims made to the broadcasting company, amid rumours that Giovanni had left the show last month.

Actress Amanda Abbington who was partnered with Giovanni during this year's Strictly quit the show after five weeks -Credit:Guy Levy/BBC/PA Wire
Actress Amanda Abbington who was partnered with Giovanni during this year's Strictly quit the show after five weeks -Credit:Guy Levy/BBC/PA Wire

In May, a new allegation surfaced, accusing the pro dancer of sending an "offensive" video via WhatsApp to one of his Strictly partners before filming one of the live Saturday night shows. He neither commissioned nor appeared in the video.

An insider revealed: "The BBC was informed about the video clip and that someone found the content completely inappropriate, grossly offensive. The BBC was told the celebrity was shocked and upset to receive it on a WhatsApp message, hours before the couple were meant to be dancing together on live television."

"They were told they felt intimidated by it. The women are being incredibly brave in speaking out, especially as a lot of them are going up against vicious messages from his loyal fans," The Sun reported. Meanwhile, fans of the Strictly star have shown their support on social media following the emergence of the allegations, after he spoke out.

While many of Giovanni's Strictly colleagues have remained silent following the recent allegations, one of his most-loved partners did show their support. Debbie McGee took to Instagram to reassure fans that her support for the star has not wavered since the recent allegations.

Strictly star Giovanni Pernice
Strictly star Giovanni Pernice -Credit:BBC

After Giovanni Pernice appealed to his followers to cast their votes for him and Anton Du Beke at the National Television Awards, where they're nominated for their travel series, his former dance partner Debbie McGee showed her support by commenting: "On it" with a heart emoji. The Italian dancer has recently addressed the public to express gratitude for their backing while refuting any negative claims.

Taking to Instagram, Giovanni shared: "To my dear fans, you will be as surprised as I am that allegations have been made about my dance teaching methods in the media this week. Of course, I reject any suggestion of abusive or threatening behaviour, and I look forward to clearing my name."

He added: "Those who have followed my journey on Strictly Come Dancing over the last decade will know that I am passionate and competitive. No-one is more ambitious for my dance partners than me. I have always striven to help them be the very best dancers they can be. This has always come from a place of love and wanting to win for me and my dance partners. Thank you all once again for your continued love and support! Giovanni."

Amanda's representatives have been contacted for comment.

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