Giovanni Pernice takes steps to 'clear name' and 'fully co-operate' amid Strictly 'abuse' claims

Giovanni Pernice takes steps to 'clear name' and 'fully co-operate' amid Strictly 'abuse' claims

Strictly showdown: Giovanni Pernice is backed by the BBC in his row with Amanda Abbington

Lauren Williams

By Lauren Williams

Published: 23/05/2024

- 08:11

The Italian dancer is facing accusations against he behaviour on the BBC show as well as his "militant" training techniques

Giovanni Pernice recently released a statement denying "abuse" accusations and vowed to clear his name after it was reported three of his former Strictly Come Dancing partners instructed lawyers to make "serious complaints" over his conduct - and it seems he is pulling out the big guns for help.

The BBC has also begun an investigation into the allegations against Pernice and is said to be "scouring nine years of footage from Giovanni Pernice's Strictly training sessions as they brace for more complaints."

The complaints first arose when the 33-year-old's 2023 partner Amanda Abbington left the competition in week five and claimed she had PTSD from their training together, later requesting she have access to the tapes of their rehearsals.

Since then, Laura Whitmore, Ranvir Singh, and Korina Travis have publicly backed up Abbington's claims and said their experience with the Latin and Ballroom champion was similar.

Now, Pernice has claimed to be "fully co-operate" with the BBC after it launched an investigation into his conduct, spanning over the nine years he has been part of the dancing spectacular.

It has been reported Pernice vowed he won't be "cancelled" and has hired London-based legal firm Schillings to help shut down the claims.

Giovanni Pernice and Amanda Abbington

Giovanni Pernice has vowed to clear his name from the claims


In a statement to The Mail, Schillings said: "Giovanni... has instructed Schillings International LLP. Schillings is engaging with BBC studios to provide it with Giovanni's evidence to strongly rebut claims being made about him and confirm that Giovanni Is fully cooperating with that process.

"As with any reality TV show, when decisions are being made for entertainment reasons, the producers have a duty of care. Giovanni is fully committed to clearing his name and defending his rep against accusations against him."

A source close to Giovanni added: "Giovanni has instructed Schillings and is clear he will not be cancelled by spurious and unfounded allegations In the press. He has faith in the process and is fully participating, that is the right and proper forum for all the allegations to be made and reviewed.

"He is confident he will clear his name, the only substantive allegation is that he stepped on someone else's toes - an occupational hazard dancing professionally or at a wedding.

Giovanni Pernice and Rose Ayling-Ellis

The Italian dancer won the series back in 2021


"Giovanni has made no secret that he is a hard taskmaster, that's what is required on Strictly. But he has and will deny any allegations of threatening or abusive behaviour."

Law firm Carter-Ruck has stated: “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.”

Whilst Pernice and the BBC have not confirmed his departure from the show, it has been reported that an internal memo of this years professional dancers has been circulated, with the Italian stars name being left off.

A source told The Sun: "Gio feels the scrutiny on him has become too much, and now is the time to make a fresh start. He wants to focus on other TV projects and feels he’s achieved all he can on Strictly, having won the trophy back in 2021 and reaching the final an unprecedented four times.

Giovanni Pernice and Amanda Abbington

Giovanni has vowed to shut down the abuse claims


"He remains adamant he’s done nothing wrong other than being a hard taskmaster, but knows his style of training isn’t to everyone’s liking — especially in this day and age."

A BBC spokesperson did not immediately deny the reports and told GB News: "The Professional Dancers for Strictly Come Dancing 2024 will be announced in due course."

GB News has contacted Pernice's representatives and Schillings for a comment.

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