Giovanni Pernice supported by former partner amid Strictly Come Dancing allegations

Giovanni Pernice
-Credit: (Image: Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images)

One of Giovanni Pernice's former dance partners has publicly shown her support for the Strictly Come Dancing star, who has been facing criticism recently.

Giovanni's reputation has come under scrutiny following allegations about his behaviour during training sessions with celebrities on the popular dance show. The professional dancer has vehemently denied claims that he was 'abusive or threatening' towards his partners, but his celebrity friends have been notably silent in their support.

The situation worsened when his close friend Rose Ayling Ellis, who he won the series with in 2021, stated that she 'believed what others were saying'. "She is just trying to not get involved. She won't be speaking about it publicly," an insider revealed.

While many of Giovanni's closest allies have remained quiet, one of his most cherished partners has stepped forward to defend him.

Debbie McGee took to Instagram to reassure fans that her loyalty to Giovanni remains unshaken despite the recent accusations, reports the Mirror.

Giovanni had posted on social media asking fans to vote for him and Anton Du Beke at the National Television Awards, where they have been nominated for their travel series. Debbie, who was Giovanni's partner in 2017, responded: "On it" along with a supportive heart emoji.

Debbie and Giovanni
Debbie McGee was Giovanni's celebrity dance partner in 2017 -Credit:Getty Images

This isn't the first time Debbie has shown her support for Giovanni this year. When rumours first surfaced about a disagreement between Giovanni and his 2023 dance partner Amanda Abbington, Debbie made it clear whose side she was on.

She reminisced about her time on the dance floor with a nostalgic post, saying: "Happy memories, Giovanni and I had the best of times on Strictly." Giovanni didn't waste a moment to show his gratitude for the mention, replying: "Love you ... thank you," in the comment section.

The dancer has navigated choppy waters recently, having to exit Strictly prematurely last year when his celebrity partner Amanda withdrew from the contest.

Amanda Abbington and Giovanni Pernice
Giovanni and Amanda were partnered up in 2023 -Credit:BBC

Whispers of a spat during rehearsals surfaced in the initial week. Amanda then cited 'medical issues' as her reason for leaving the competition the next month.

Subsequent reports have emerged that the BBC is delving into allegations concerning his behaviour on the programme.

A legal team representing those who have raised concerns stated that the corporation is currently "evidence gathering" although the BBC has yet to confirm the initiation of any formal investigation.

Giovanni has publicly refuted any accusations of misconduct. He took to Instagram to share a statement, asserting: "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."

He firmly dismissed any claims of abusive or threatening behaviour, stating: "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."

He concluded his statement with: "Thank you all once again for your continued love and support! Giovanni ."

A spokesperson from the legal firm Carter-Ruck told PA news agency: "There have been numerous serious complaints made to the BBC who are now in the process of evidence gathering."

"As it is still an ongoing matter no further comment can be made at this stage."

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