Giovanni Pernice faces more turmoil as 'male celebrity complains' amid Strictly Come Dancing investigation

Giovanni Pernice (PA Archive)
Giovanni Pernice (PA Archive)

A male celebrity has joined the group of female stars making complaints about Giovanni Pernice's behaviour during their time on Strictly Come Dancing, according to reports.

Last month, it was reported that the BBC launched an internal investigation after the 33-year-old professional dancer’s was accused of “threatening and abusive behaviour” towards former celeb partners. A claim he vehmently denies.

Three women, whose identities haven't been confirmed by Strictly or Pernice, have sought the services of law firm Carter-Ruck to investigate his behaviour.

A Carter Ruck spokesperson told The Standard last month: “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.”

Now in the newest development of the ongoing legal dispute, an unidentified male star, who collaborated with Pernice during his tenure on the show, reportedly recounted his experiences to the law firm.

A source told The Sun: “After three women came forward, a man has now joined their ranks. He personally reached out to the women at the heart of this unfolding crisis, offering them his support and full backing.

Pernice pictured with former celebrity partner Rose Ayling-Ellis (BBC/Guy Levy)
Pernice pictured with former celebrity partner Rose Ayling-Ellis (BBC/Guy Levy)

“He has also been in touch with Carter Ruck and told them what he knows, and shared his experiences. These experiences were, at times, very tricky.”

In the wake of the legal dispute, Pernice hired rival law firm Schillings. His case is being handled by Joelle Rich, who represented Johnny Depp in his libel trial in 2020.

A spokesman for Pernice told the publication: “Schillings is engaging with BBC Studios to provide it with Giovanni's evidence to strongly rebut the claims being made about him and confirm Giovanni is fully cooperating.

“As with any reality TV show, when decisions are being made for entertainment reasons, the producers have a duty of care to all participants.”

Amid the reports, the BBC made a rare comment about the investigation last week and insisted: “Whilst we know our shows have been positive experiences for many of those who have taken part, we will always look at any issues raised with care, fairness and sensitivity to everyone concerned. We will not be commenting further.”

The dancer has strongly denied that there is any truth to the allegations, previously stating he “rejects any suggestion of abusive or threatening behaviour, and looks forward to clearing his name”.

Taking to Instagram last month, he wrote: “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. 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.”

Reports about his alleged conduct on Strictly first surfaced amidst rumors of a behind-the-scenes feud with Sherlock actress Amanda Abbington. She quit the show last year after five weeks and is now believed to be seeking legal advice.

While Abbington cited "personal reasons" for her exit, it later emerged that she had requested video footage of her rehearsals and was diagnosed with mild PTSD following her time on Strictly.

The Standard has reached out to Giovanni Pernice’s rep for comment.