Amanda Abbington opens up about Strictly Come Dancing Giovanni Pernice feud

Amanda Abbington has finally spoken out against Giovanni
-Credit: (Image: No credit)

Amanda Abbington has openly criticised her former dance partner Giovanni Pernice, describing him as "nasty and awful".

Strictly Come Dancing professional Giovanni, aged 33, is currently facing accusations of "threatening and abusive" behaviour during rehearsals, which he vehemently denies. Following complaints from several of his past partners, including TV host Laura Whitmore and actress Amanda Abbington, the BBC has reportedly initiated an internal investigation.

Abbington has previously stated that her stint on Strictly last year led to PTSD.

Reports last week suggested that Giovanni had requested the BBC to record their training sessions due to concerns over Abbington's behaviour. Contradicting these claims, Abbington told Mail+ that it was her idea to have the rehearsals recorded, accusing Giovanni of being unpleasant to her and others: "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."

She also expressed the severe impact the dispute has had on her life: "You don't understand how awful this all is," she remarked. "Giovanni's fans have started trolling me now. I have had to come off social media and I'm getting death threats.", reports the Mirror.

Abbington lamented the broader consequences of the conflict, stating, "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 reports concerning the show and a professional dancer. Although the statement does not specifically mention Strictly or Giovanni, it does reference complaints about a high-profile programme.

The statement read: "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 comments on the allegations. This follows weeks of reports linked to claims made to the broadcasting company, amid rumours that Giovanni had left the show last month.

In May, a new allegation surfaced, with the professional dancer accused of sending an "offensive" clip 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.

A source said: "The BBC was told 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 support to him on social media following reports of the allegations emerging, 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 show fans that her support for the star has not wavered since the recent allegations.

Giovanni, after appealing to fans on social media to vote for him and Anton Du Beke at the National Television Awards where they've been nominated for their travel series, received support from Debbie, his 2017 dance partner. She responded with "On it" and a heart emoji.

Giovanni has recently publicly thanked his supporters while denying the allegations.

In an Instagram post, he stated: "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."

The Mirror has attempted to contact Amanda's representatives for a response.