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Star's anger at focus on love life

Strictly Come Dancing star Kristina Rihanoff has criticised the focus on her personal life after she was linked to several of the show's celebrities.

The dancer dated boxer Joe Calzaghe, after she partnered him on the show, and the couple stayed together for four years.

She later had to insist that nothing had gone on between herself and Ben Cohen after being blamed for the rugby star's marriage split.

Now Rihanoff has told Loose Women: "I didn't go in to the show to have my private life splashed all over the papers."

And she added: "I just don't understand why women are played against each other so badly."

Rihanoff, who was also linked to Strictly professional Vincent Simone, confirmed that she almost quit the BBC1 show when she partnered Blue singer Simon Webbe.

"Last year, I was in quite a bad place because my mother was suffering from a breast cancer scare. I thought, maybe I need to step out. She was absolutely devastated to read some of the things.

"Simon said 'I don't want to continue the show without you' - he was not in a good place himself."

But the dancer confirmed that she would be in the new series in the autumn, saying: "I've been invited back."

And she said of ex-political journalist John Sergeant's decision to leave the show after surviving week after week despite his lack of dancing skills: "It (the publicity) just became very difficult for his family so he decided to leave the show.

"That's really why John left the competition."

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