Strictly curse: Ben Cohen’s ex-wife regrets sweary rant about Kristina Rhianoff

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Ben and Abby Cohen in 2003  (Getty Images)
Ben and Abby Cohen in 2003 (Getty Images)

The ex-wife of former Strictly Come Dancing star Ben Cohen has said she regrets calling professional dancer Kristina Rhianoff "a f***ing Russian dancer" amid the breakdown of her marriage.

Abby Cohen, 42, was married to the former rugby player when he was paired up with professional dancer Ms Rhianoff on the BBC show in 2013.

Mr Cohen ended up divorcing his wife in 2016 and later starting a relationship with the dancer. He now shares a daughter Milena with the choreographer.

At the time, Ms Cohen lashed out at Ms Rhianoff to journalists and branded her a "f***ing Russian dancer” in a foul-mouthed rant.

But now Ms Cohen, who shares daughter Harriette with her ex husband Mr Cohen, said she regretted the harsh words at the time.

Ms Cohen told New magazine: "At the time of the break-up, when hugely stressed, I once angrily referred to Ben’s partner as a ‘f***ing Russian dancer’ to a journalist hassling me. I regret that now."

Ben Cohen and  Kristina Rhianoff (PA)
Ben Cohen and Kristina Rhianoff (PA)

She went on: "I’m happier in my own skin and I’m not that broken girl who used to be married to a famous rugby player."

Previously, Ms Cohen has spoken of the heartbreak the end of her marriage caused.

"My whole world fell apart when Ben made the decision to end our marriage. It’s like a bus has hit you. I was broken — completely broken," she told the Daily Mail.

Ms Cohen warned the Strictly Come Dancing “curse” - or when celebrity couples break-up with their real life partners during filming of the show - could strike again among any of the new pairings for this year.

As well as the Cohens, dancers Neil and Katya Jones split after the latter was spotted kissing dance partner Seann Walsh.

Stacey Dooley started a relationship with dancer Kevin Clifton just months after they lifted the Glitter Ball trophy.

Dancer Dianne Buswell is now in a relationship with former dance partner Joe Sugg.

It comes as three of Strictly Come Dancing’s professional dancers have reportedly refused the Covid jab despite being partnered with a celebrity.

Already the reports have sparked anger among fans of the BBC show.

BBC has refused to comment on the Covid vaccination status of the professional dancers but a spokesperson vowed the strict government guidelines remain in place to ensure the safety of the show.

Former Strictly professional dancer James Jordan, who starred on the show from 2006 to 2013, has slammed the “really selfish” dancers who have apparently opted not to have the coronavirus vaccine.

The ballroom dancer and choreographer, 43, has called for any of the dancers who refused the jab to be “sacked” from the BBC show.

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