Belfast Telegraph

Cohen slams Rihanoff romance rumour

Ben Cohen has rubbished rumours that his marriage split was caused by his close friendship with Kristina Rihanoff.

The rugby player was partnered with professional dancer Kristina in the last series of Strictly Come Dancing, but their ongoing friendship was called into question by some when he recently announced his break-up with wife Abby, who he has twin seven-year-old daughters with.

Ben wrote on Facebook: "Stories have been published that are laced with innuendo about me, my wife Abby, and my friend and former Strictly Come Dancing partner, Kristina Rihanoff.

"Kristina and I share the same passion for charity work and have helped each other with our charities to raise money and awareness.

"It is a desperately sad world, when two adults of different genders cannot have a friendship without being attacked maliciously."

He added: "'My wife and I have already issued a statement regarding our current marital issues, and we stand by that statement.

"Our own problems, like those of any family, should be handled in private. That I am a public figure, does not remove my family's right to privacy."

Ben also tweeted his former dance partner: "Stay strong KRihanoff. It's horrible being bullied each week for no reason at all. Thinking of you."

When Ben announced his split, a representative said in a statement: "Ben and Abby Cohen have agreed to take time apart to deal with some marital issues but remain fully committed to the welfare of their children.

"There is no third party involved, and Ben and Abby now ask that their privacy and that of their family be respected at this difficult time."

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