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Why Kevin Clifton split with three ex-wives before Stacey Dooley romance

The former Strictly pro was married to Karen Hauer

kevin clifton marriages
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Strictly Come Dancing fans may have followed Kevin Clifton's love life from his marriage to his fellow professional dancer Karen Hauer to his new baby with his partner and 2018 celebrity champion Stacey Dooley.

But did you know he has also been married a further two times? Starting at the age of just 20, Kevin has been in several committed relationships which sadly ended in divorce, and both Kevin and Stacey have revealed they're not in any rush to walk down the aisle.

WATCH: Stacey Dooley shares relatable relationship 'drama' with Kevin Clifton ahead of baby's birth

Look back at why he split with Anna Melnikova, Clare Craze and Karen Hauer before finding love with Stacey…

Anna Melnikova

Kevin has always been one for love from a young age, first getting married in 2003 when he was just 20 years old. Some reports have suggested that Kevin's first wife was Anna Melnikova, his professional Latin dance partner between 2002 and 2006, although this has never been confirmed.

Kevin has previously spoken out about this time in his life, revealing that his wife left him after three years when he "turned away" from professional dancing. "We got to a stage where we were at the top of our game but we hadn't won a world championship," he said.

"We were approached and told that if we paid the right people we would be guaranteed the title but it would cost more than £10,000 in all and I just felt somewhere it had all gone wrong. My parents believed we could win without it, but I wanted to walk away from the whole thing. My wife divorced me because it was her life."

Clare Craze

Kevin Clifton and his wife Clare Craze dressed in black© Photo: Getty Images

Kevin pictured with Clare (far right)

It didn't take long for Kevin to fall in love again. He met fellow dancer Clare Craze on a night out in a salsa bar, tying the knot in 2007 at the age of 24. Clare had studied ballet from the age of two and the pair performed together on the international tour of the dance show Burn the Floor around the world.

But by 2010, the couple had "drifted apart" and separated, with Kevin referring to this stage of his life as his "rebellion," where he dyed black hair and wore black painted nails. They finalised their divorce in 2013.

FIND OUT: Which celeb couples fell in love on reality TV: From Gemma Atkinson to Vogue Williams

Karen Hauer

While working on Burn the Floor in 2011, Kevin met Venezuelan dancer Karen Hauer. Karen then joined Strictly Come Dancing in 2012, followed by Kevin a year later in 2013.

Their wedding was a star-studded affair that appeared on the cover of HELLO!. It was an "absolutely magical" day and the couple were accompanied by Strictly pros Janette Manrara, Aljaz Skorjanez and Brendan Cole.

Kevin Clifton dancing with his ex wife Karen Hauer on Strictly© Photo: Getty Images

Kevin and Karen married in 2015

The pair danced together in pro dances on the show for years, and when they split they decided not to change things. "Privately we are not together anymore but professionally we are stronger than ever before," said Kevin, who toured with Karen months after their split.

"Dance is how we came together and is what glues together. We're still the best of friends and we still have a lot of love and respect for each other." Karen went on to marry Jordan Wyn-Jones in Hampshire in 2022.

Stacey Dooley

Kevin and documentary maker Stacey Dooley took part in the 2018 series of Strictly Come Dancing and sailed all the way to the final, eventually lifting the iconic Glitterball trophy as champions. But it seems that Stacey did more than win the trophy, as she soon won Kevin's heart. After much media speculation, the two confirmed their relationship on social media in April 2019. 

Pregnant Stacey Dooley in a pink outfit next to her partner Kevin

The couple are parents to a baby girl called Minnie

Since then, presenter Stacey explained her hesitations when it comes to marriage. "Kev and I have been together for two years," explained Stacey. "I don't think I want to get married. I think I'd be more interested in starting a family than getting married."

She jokingly added: "I can't think of anything worse than being a Tradwife. I would be useless, completely and utterly useless. He'd divorce me in a heartbeat."

To announce the birth of their baby girl in January 2023, Kevin shared a photograph of an envelope which read: "Minnie's parents," and he added on his Instagram Stories: "Our daughter Minnie is here."

DISCOVER: Stacey Dooley's family nest with Kevin Clifton and newborn baby Minnie is stunning

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