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Kristina Rihanoff considered quitting Strictly

ShowbizBy Sunday World
Kristina Rihanoff considered quitting Strictly

Kristina Rihanoff considered quitting 'Strictly Come Dancing' last year after the scrutiny of her personal life became too much to take.

The professional dancer has become as famous for her romances with her partners on the BBC TV show as for her ballroom skills and she admits the constant judgment left her on the brink of walking away from the programme.

Kristina received much criticism after her former dance partner ex-England rugby ace Ben Cohen announced he was separating from his wife of 11 years last September, and rumours circulated that he and Kristina were to embark on a relationship.

In an interview on 'Loose Women', she said: "Last year, (I was) almost there. I was in a bad place because my mother was suffering with a breast cancer scare and the press were so horrific at that time that I thought that maybe there was a time where I needed to step out. She (my mother) was extremely upset and she was absolutely devastated to read some of those things ... I didn't come on the show to be portrayed in a certain way or for my private life to be slashed across the papers, because we all want some privacy."

Kristina was in a long-term relationship with former dance partner Joe Calzaghe but they split in 2013 and also was in a romance with 'Strictly...' dancer Vincent Simone.

The 37-year-old blonde beauty thinks it's time for the criticism of her love life to stop and wishes more women would support her rather than seemingly taking great glee in attacking her.

She said: "I think because I was raised in Soviet Russia for me it was always - let your work speak for itself, it's all about what you do on the dancefloor, how good you are as a dancer, as a choreographer and as a coach for your celebrities. That's what should be the topic of conversation.

"Years and years I've been here and I think it came to a point where I had to speak out and say something... I just don't understand why women are played against each other so widely ... I just don't think it always has to be negative publicity ... it's really up to me and the person I'm with to live our life and decide what's right, what's wrong."