Stacey Dooley speaks out amid Giovanni Pernice allegations: ‘I hope the women involved are OK’

The latest update in the ongoing Giovanni Pernice Strictly Come Dancing ‘scandal’ came from none other than long-standing LGBTQ+ ally Stacey Dooley.

In an appearance on BBC Breakfast on Monday (20 May), the television presenter and journalists was quizzed about her experiences on the hit celebrity dancing competition. Stacey Dooley won Strictly in 2018. She was paired with dancer Kevin Clifton, who she later went on to marry.

Strictly dancer Giovanni Pernice has been accused of “abusive” or “threatening” behaviour on set towards his dance partners, and rumours have been circulating this week that he’s set to leave the hit BBC show.

He has since shared a statement on Instagram vowing to clear his name: “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.”

Giovanni Pernice has appeared on the long-running BBC show 2015, and has been paired up with multiple partners, including Drag Race star Michelle Visage in 2019 and season 19 winner Rose Ayling-Ellis in 2021.

On Monday morning, BBC Breakfast presenter Jon Kay asked Stacey Dooley: “While you’re here, before we get to the news, I have to talk to you about Strictly. Giovanni made a statement over the weekend saying he rejects any suggestion of any threatening or abusive behaviour, and you don’t want to talk about that case and those allegations, but I guess it shines a spotlight on the intensity of that Strictly world.”

Dooley replied: “Yeah, what I would say is I don’t have a friendship with Giovanni. I didn’t even have a working relationship with Giovanni.

“And I haven’t been involved with that show for years. So it would be probably irresponsible for me to comment on that,” she added.

“What I would say, more broadly, is I hope all of the women involved are ok. And I think, actually, it’s separate from this but in my personal experience, I think it’s a slippery slope not to believe women when they come forward and say certain things. But I just hope they’re ok.”

Stacey Dooley is a staunch feminist with a proven track record of advocating for the rights of women and LGBTQ+ people around the world.

In 2018, in a BBC documentary called World’s Worst Place To Be A Woman? she visited Honduras to investigate its high murder rate of young girls. Also in 2018, she investigated Russia’s “war on women,” she has also written a book called On the Front Line with the Women Who Fight Back.

Devout Mormon Adam Preston, 17, questioned his parent’s religious beliefs on Stacey Dooley Sleeps Over. (W)

In 2019, she fronted a documentary about homophobia amongst Mormons living in the UK, as part of a series called Stacey Dooley Sleeps Over. In it, a mother and her husband tell their son, Adam, that they believe being queer is “immoral” and acting on it violates the “moral standard” of the Mormon church.

In April 2022, she slammed the government for scrapping its plans to ban transgender conversion therapy, taking Instagram to share her outrage with her one million followers after it was revealed the ban will only cover gay or bisexual people across England and Wales, reports Bedfordshire Live.

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