The Strictly Come Dancing stars rallying around Giovanni Pernice

Giovanni - (C) BBC - Photographer: Kieron McCarron
Giovanni - (C) BBC - Photographer: Kieron McCarron

Strictly Come Dancing star Giovanni Pernice is facing some serious heat after allegations surfaced from several former contestants.

But not everyone is turning their back on him.

In fact, some of his Strictly pals are stepping up to show their support, while others are staying noticeably silent.

Giovanni’s close friend and former dance partner, Rose Ayling-Ellis, hasn’t publicly spoken out yet, although she’s reportedly “really shocked” by the accusations.

Giovanni Pernice, Rose Ayling-Ellis
Giovanni Pernice, Rose Ayling-Ellis – (C) BBC – Photographer: Guy Levy

Meanwhile other pro dancers are also keeping quiet.

However, former Strictly pro Kristina Rihanoff defended Giovanni, telling Closer, “I’m stunned by the whole scandal. Gio’s a nice, friendly guy and a hard-working professional.”

Anton Du Beke, now a judge, is also backing Giovanni. They are set to tour together this summer and recently appeared close in an Instagram video.

Debbie McGee, Giovanni’s 2017 partner, posted a supportive photo on Instagram, calling their time together “happy memories.”

Michelle Visage, his 2019 partner, joined him on stage during his solo tour, despite admitting in an interview that Giovanni is “tough” to train with.

Strictly make-up artist Lisa Armstrong and former contestant Jamie Laing showed their support by liking Giovanni’s Instagram post where he denied the allegations and vowed to clear his name.

In a previous statement posted to social media, Giovanni said: “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.

Giovanni Pernice
Giovanni Pernice. Credit: BBC/Ray Burmiston

“Of course, I reject any suggestion of abusive or threatening behaviour, and I look forward to clearing my name.

“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.”

The BBC has said: “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.”

The statement continued: “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.”