Artem Chigvintsev has spoken out to deny claims he mistreated his former Strictly Come Dancing partner Fern Britton. This week, Fern stated that Artem would "kick or shove me" as they rehearsed together for the BBC1 series. But the professional dancer, who left the show last year, has said that her comments came as a complete "shock".
Speaking at an event hosted by the Times, Fern, 57, told an audience that Artem "would look at my feet and just kick me or shove me…" before jokingly telling her to "go home before I kill you".
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Artem Chigvintsev said Fern Britton's comments have come as a complete "shock"
"What was his other one? 'If you go for a cup of tea now, I will blow off like an atomic bomb'," she said. "I thought, 'Well, I won't correct him on that one.'
"We did love each other for a moment or two but he wasn't charm personified. I did kind of enjoy it but it was grim at the same time."
In light of her comments, 32-year-old Artem – who now appears on the hit US show Dancing with the Stars – has spoken out.
"Recent statements apparently made by Fern Britton, whilst not reflecting any situation I recognise, are difficult to ignore," he said.
Fern Britton and Artem Chigvintsev competed in the 2012 series of Strictly
"I believe I treated Fern with respect and genuine care, and these claims about me are the opposite of everything I believe in and the person I am. I cannot imagine what has prompted such statements which come as a shock to me. I just want to thank all my fans and friends for their support and belief in me."
Fern and Artem competed in the 2012 series of Strictly, coming in 10th place. Fern's comments this week stand at odds with those she made as the pair exited the show.
"Artem, I've loved it, I wouldn't have swapped you for anything," she said at the time. "There have been highs and lows, we've got to know each other pretty well and I do adore you."