Giovanni Pernice’s family issue fierce defence of Strictly star amid allegations of ‘abusive behaviour’

Giovanni Pernice’s family have issued a fierce defence of the star as he faces allegations of “abusive and threatening behaviour”.

It comes after speculation the 33-year-old had quit Strictly Come Dancing with the BBC understood to be “scouring years of footage” to look into the complaints.

The 33-year-old has denied all allegations of “abusive and threatening behaviour” in his teaching style, saying he is only “passionate and competitive”.

Questions about the Italian performer’s behaviour began in January when Sherlock star Amanda Abbington reportedly requested footage of her rehearsals with the pro after she unexpectedly quit the show in 2023, and did not mention Pernice in her leaving message.

Other celebrities and colleagues have come forward since.

Pernice’s sister Angela told MailOnline that the family were completely behind him.

“Giovanni will always have our support, he is family and there’s nothing else to say,” she said from her home in Palermo, where the Pernice family are from.

“The whole family is behind him, mum, dad, me and everyone else, whatever he says is the truth and we support him with all our strength.

“We are 100 per cent behind him and nothing will change that.”

Pernice has faced increased scrutiny after controversy around his training methods (BBC)
Pernice has faced increased scrutiny after controversy around his training methods (BBC)

Legal firm Carter Ruck said it had contacted the BBC regarding “numerous serious complaints” about his alleged behaviour while filming Strictly, according to BBC News.

Following reports about Abbington’s behaviour, it had been reported that Good Morning Britain presenter Ranvir Singh and former Love Island host Laura Whitmore, who previously said she was “uncomfortable” with Pernice, along with Abbington, had exchanged their respective “difficult experiences” with the dancer.

Dancer Korina Travis, 29, who has performed with Pernice in a professional capacity in the past, made further claims about the dancer’s conduct in an interview with The Sun.

Giovanni Pernice and Amanda Abbington (BBC/Guy Levy)
Giovanni Pernice and Amanda Abbington (BBC/Guy Levy)

Pernice made a statement denying all allegations on Instagram on Sunday (19 May).

Addressing his fans, the dancer wrote: “You will be as surprised as I am that allegations have been made about my dance teaching methods in the media this week.”

The Strictly star described himself as “passionate”, “competitive” and “ambitious”, but rejected the insinuation that his behaviour had ever become “abusive”.

“I have always striven to help them be the very best dancers they can be,” he said of his celebrity dance partners.

“This has always come from a place of love and wanting to win – for me and my dance partners,” Pernice concluded, thanking his fans for their “continued love and support”.