Perth-born ballroom dancer Damian Whitewood has hit back at accusations that he is to blame for Russell Crowe and Danielle Spencer’s shock marriage breakdown.
Whitewood, who is based in LA and was partnered with Spencer on Dancing with the Stars this year, told Channel 7 US correspondent Mike Amor in an exclusive interview for Today Tonight tonight that there was “absolutely nothing” romantic between him and Spencer, maintaining that the two were just good friends.
“(I’m) absolutely not the other man, never have been, never will be,” he told Amor.
“It is what it was, we were just great friends and partners on the dance floor, that’s it.’
“You can’t stop a friendship forming (on the show). Each week you become closer and friendlier and open up.”
When questioned over a series of intimate photos of him and Spencer reportedly taken at Sydney’s The Star casino in June, Whitewood maintained there was nothing fishy going on.
“We’re just consoling each other,” he said.
“We do that on the show as well. That’s at the end of our show wrap, we actually went out to dinner with a group of friends…just out in general company of each other. You personally don’t know what we were talking about, it’s a photo that says I have my arm around her, but I had my arm around her every day when I danced with her. I was probably in worse situations on the dance floor in front of millions of viewers. Nothing romantic at all.”
Though he adamantly denied any wrongdoing, Whitewood said that after the dancing show had wrapped Spencer told him she was experiencing marriage troubles with Crowe.
“Once we had wrapped, she said things weren’t great,” he said.
“If things aren’t great, things aren’t great, I’m not going to say how bad they are. That’s their personal matter.”
Since news of the couple’s split broke on Monday, neither Crowe nor Spencer have released a public statement.
However, it is thought Crowe made a passing reference to Spencer on his Twitter page yesterday after writing that he “missed the girl from Rose Bay”.
Spencer’s father, Don Spencer, has also spoken of his sadness over his daughter’s marriage breakdown to the New Zealand-born actor this week.
Crowe is currently in the US filming the biblical epic, Noah, which is one of many film commitments that have seen him spend weeks away from Spencer and their two children, Charles, 8, and Tennyson, 6.