Shirley Ballas doubles down to defend Giovanni Pernice and admits 'words can be cruel' amid BBC investigation

Shirley Ballas and Giovanni Pernice

Shirley defended Giovanni once again

Lauren Williams

By Lauren Williams

Published: 07/07/2024

- 16:54

Updated: 07/07/2024

- 16:55

The Strictly judge has been part of the BBC dance competition since 2017

Strictly Come Dancing star Shirley Ballas has once again confirmed her support for Giovanni Pernice amid the ongoing investigation into his conduct, just weeks after noting she will stand by him "forever".

The "bullying" investigation comes after Pernice's former partner Amanda Abbington quit the show after five weeks and claimed she suffered PTSD from her time on the show.

The 33-year-old has continued to vehemently deny the accusations and promised to clear his name - hiring London law firm Schillings to help with the ongoing case.

Despite the ongoing ban from BBC which has been put into place to stop Strictly stars from discussing the ongoing investigation, Ballas has continued to throw her support behind the ballroom dancer.

She previously told The Mirror whilst promoting her book, Murder on the Dancefloor: "I know he is a hard worker. He wants the people to do the very best that they can do. Obviously, in my life, I was bullied a lot.

"I don't condone bullying on any path but also I don't believe gossip and what you read in the newspapers because things get escalated and they are blown way out of all proportion and it can turn into a great big snowball.

"So my feeling for Giovanni is, let them do this investigation or whatever it is they are doing and the truth will come out. So we don’t judge anybody until I know absolutely 100 per cent. I won’t pass on the gossip unless I know 100 per cent it is true.

"I have never ever, ever experienced any ill will or bad feeling or bad sportsmanship or rudeness from him. He will be missed."

The 63-year-old has since continued to defend Pernice and claims that gruelling training can be "super-strict" and include "cruel words" amid the dancer's misconduct probe.

She recently told The Sun: "I've known Giovanni for 10 years, and he's a good friend of mine. But I'm not involved on any side of that [the investigation]. You don't want to kill their enthusiasm or the thought that they can be the Glitterball champion.

Amanda Abbington and Giovanni

Amanda dropped out of the show during week five


"So, I think sometimes, words can be cruel and people deliver them in not a great way. I learned the difference. I can be super strict when somebody is trying to win the gold medal, then I can still be quite strict but in a positive way on Strictly so they will learn something.

"That's always ongoing for me. I'm always searching for the best way I can bring great constructive criticism."

Last week, Ballas joined Anton Du Beke and taught at Pernice's Ballando dance workshop, and as she walked on stage she told the audience: "I’ve known him for 10 years and we’re good friends...'

"I will be one person who will be by his side forever. What you see is what you get with him."

Shirley Ballas

Shirley has continued to defend her friend during the investigation


According to The Sun, a source claimed: "Those involved have been told the probe could well drag on into next year. Of course, the last thing the BBC needs is the findings to be released in the middle of this series."

Whilst Pernice remains "confident" that it will all end soon, with a source telling The Sun that Perfumery & Co store co-owner David McConnachie stated: "He said he is very confident it will all be sorted out soon.

"He said all the training sessions had been recorded and he was sure that once they have all been reviewed it will all be resolved."

You may like