Strictly stars who have deserted Giovanni Pernice amid 'abuse' claims and the pals who have stuck by him

Strictly star Giovanni Pernice is currently under investigation following the multiple "abuse" allegations against him from his former dance partners -Credit:BBC
Strictly star Giovanni Pernice is currently under investigation following the multiple "abuse" allegations against him from his former dance partners -Credit:BBC

Giovanni Pernice's recent scandal has created a significant divide within the Strictly Come Dancing community.

Reports suggest that BBC bosses are reviewing nine years' worth of training footage of the 33-year-old Sicilian-born star following accusations of "abuse" due to his alleged severe teaching methods with past celebrity partners.

In response to these claims, three of his previous celebrity dance partners, including actress Amanda Abbington, have reportedly initiated legal action against him regarding his behaviour on the primetime show.

In the wake of this controversy, Giovanni has denied the allegations on social media, affirming that his training style is driven by love and some of his fellow dancer pals have also come forward to show their support for the Strictly star, the Mirror reports.

However, not everyone has broke their silence on the matter as an insider shared: "Strictly has always been such a close-knit show, with everyone so supportive. But now people are finding themselves choosing sides.

"Some people are backing Gio, of course: he is adored by many. But others are finding themselves in the tricky situation of not wanting to disbelieve the women. It has caused some ructions: there is a lot of bluster."

Here we take a closer look at who's siding with Team Gio - and who's keeping quiet..

Backing Gio

Anton Du Beke

Strictly Come Dancing judge Anton Du Beke has thrown his weight behind Giovanni Pernice amidst former contestants' claims of Giovanni's 'abusive' training methods.

Anton du Beke and Giovanni Pernice
Strictly judge Anton Du Beke is backing his good pal Giovanni throughout the controversy -Credit:BBC/BBC Studios

Showing his loyalty to his pal, the dancer took to Instagram to promote their joint tour.

He posted: "Hello my loves! Want to spend an evening of fun and laughter with myself and the fabulous @giovannipernice? You can buy tickets to our tour at Can't wait to see you all there! Anton [kiss face emoji]."

The dynamic duo also hinted that their TV show is set for a return soon.

On the Mirror's Invite Only podcast, Anton defended Gio, particularly in light of Amanda Abbington's departure from the show for "medical reasons".

He commented: "I thought you and Amanda were marvellous. I thought you were terrific. I remember a few years ago, Kelvin Fletcher came in and danced in week one, and it was amazing.

"As a judge, you sit there and you don't know what it's going to be like. And then you go, like, 'Stone the crows, that was rather good'.

"And you're a bit overwhelmed by it because normally, it takes a little bit of time. But Kelvin was terrific straight away. And I thought Amanda was the same. She was terrific straight away."

Lisa Armstrong

Following the buzz about the BBC probing Giovanni's conduct on Strictly, the Italian dancer addressed the issue on Instagram, denying any misconduct.

His post garnered over 77,000 likes, including one from Lisa Armstrong, the ex-wife of Ant McPartlin. Lisa works on Strictly as head of make-up, so knows Giovanni behind the scenes and has worked with him for years.

The former Deuce singer did not add a comment, but clicked on the 'heart' to show her support for the post.

Jamie Laing

Jamie appeared briefly on Strictly in 2017, but was forced to withdraw from injury during the launch show, returning the following year to compete in the full series.

The Made In Chelsea star also appeared to support Giovanni as he liked his statement on Instagram in which he said he was as 'surprised as his fans' to hear about the allegations.

Debbie McGee

Debbie has leapt to the defence of Giovanni Pernice, after Sherlock star, Amanda, claimed working with him led her to getting Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

Taking to Instagram, the former magician's assistant, 67, uploaded a beaming throwback picture of her and the Italian performer taken backstage when she competed on the show in 2017.

The widow of magical Paul Daniels, captioned the snap: "Happy memories, Giovanni and I had the best of times on Strictly".

Staying silent

Rose Ayling-Ellis

Giovanni's former Strictly partner, Rose, with whom he won the show in 2021, is said to have distanced herself from the dancer amid the 'abuse' allegations against him.

Rose Ayling-Ellis and Giovanni Pernice
Rose Ayling-Ellis and Giovanni Pernice won the BBC dance show back in 2021 but the actress has not spoken out to defend her former dance partner -Credit:Dave J Hogan/Getty Images

A source spilled the beans to The Sun, saying: "Rose is finding the whole situation really tough. She had a really great experience with Gio so is really shocked by it all.

"She of course believes what others are saying but she is just trying to not get involved. She won't be speaking about it publicly."

Stacey Dooley

During her stint on BBC Breakfast, Stacey Dooley was quizzed about the drama surrounding Strictly Come Dancing's Giovanni Pernice.

Despite the pressing questions from host Jon Kay, she made it clear: "I don't have a friendship with Giovanni. I didn't even have a working relationship with Giovanni.

"And I haven't been involved with that show for years. So it would be probably irresponsible for me to comment on that."

Speaking out

Korina Travis

In a bombshell revelation, Korina Travis, who once danced alongside Giovanni Pernice at private events, has accused him of doing 'horrendous things to her'.

Korina Travis has claimed Giovanni did 'horrendous things' to her
Korina Travis claims Giovanni did 'horrendous' things to her -Credit:@korinachka/Instagram

Opening up to The Sun about her time with the Strictly star, said: "I've known him for years as a fellow competitor and he has done horrendous things to me. I will not speak about my experiences with him but I'm glad the world is seeing him for who he truly is."

She did not elaborate any further on what happened between them.

Brendan Cole

In a conversation with The Sun regarding Sky Bingo, Brendan remarked: "Let's say Giovanni Pernice did a bit of choreography that she [Amanda Abbington] didn't like. "

He continued, commenting on the speculated friction between the two Strictly participants and stating: "If that is the case, that they are having a bit of a clash, and Giovanni is quite a full-on character, in terms of personalities within the show.

"I don't think it's wrong for me to say, he thinks a lot of himself, if I could be so bold."

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