Strictly pro Karen Hauer breaks silence on Giovanni Pernice scandal - 'It was a massive surprise'

Strictlys Karen Hauer left bedbound after Kevin Clifton dated Stacey Dooley
-Credit: (Image: Ken McKay/ITV/REX/Shutterstock)

Karen Hauer, the beloved Strictly Come Dancing professional, is no stranger to switching dance partners, but this time she's hoping her latest romance is here to stay.

The show's longest-serving pro has been dazzling audiences with her incredible talent for 13 years. At 42, Karen has coaxed the best moves out of celebrities like comedians Eddie Kadi and Jayde Adams, as well as the late Hairy Biker Dave Myers, who sadly passed away in February at the age of 66.

Despite her on-screen triumphs, Karen's personal life hasn't always mirrored her professional success. Having been married and divorced three times, the Venezuelan-born star hasn't given up on love.

She's currently in a relationship with former rugby player Simon Davidson and isn't dismissing the idea of walking down the aisle once more.

She shared: "Things are brilliant. I do enjoy a good wedding. I have definitely grown up with Strictly. I have been through ups and downs as an artist and a dancer but also as a human in my personal and private life.", reports the Mirror.

Meanwhile, the show faces challenges with the recent departure of fellow pro Giovanni Pernice, 33, following accusations that he bullied at least three of his past dance partners. He denies all allegations.

Karen has become the first cast member to comment on the controversy.

"We will miss him. It was a massive surprise. Things can happen that we don't know about. I don't want to say anything that's not right, and I don't want to hurt anyone. But it's not a nice feeling for anyone. We are all so busy during the show doing our own thing. We are all in a bubble with our own celebs. I wouldn't be able to comment (on the allegations). I haven't spoken to him - he's busy doing his thing on tour. I don't know what happened. It is really sad."

Shirley Ballas, the head judge, has come out in support of Giovanni, saying he's always been a "perfect gentleman" to her. Anton Du Beke, also a judge, has stood by Giovanni, joining him on their joint tour despite the recent allegations, which Giovanni has denied.

Karen's love life has seen its fair share of the spotlight too. She was married to dancer Matthew Hauer for nine years before finding love with fellow Strictly professional Kevin Clifton.

Their marriage lasted three years before they divorced in 2018. She then tied the knot with fitness expert Jordan Wyn-Jones, but this marriage also ended after two years.

Now, Karen reveals she's taking things slow with Adidas marketing manager Simon, whom she met through her Strictly friend Gorka Marquez, as they enjoy getting to know each other.

"Would I get married again? Never say never. The marriage doesn't go wrong, it is the person. You think you know someone and then you don't. But that's why I am taking it slow and really getting to know Simon before taking the next step."