She recently defended her romance with former rugby star Ben Cohen, and in a new interview, Kristina Rihanoff has opened up about what makes her and Ben click. The Strictly Come Dancing pro explained that she and Ben grew close over their charity work, well after he had split from his estranged wife Abby Cohen.
"He doesn't see me as a dancer kicking my legs on Strictly Come Dancing," Kristina told The Sun. "He sees the real me."
"We are in a committed relationship, and of course, that involves love," she added. "We're constantly together – either at my place or his. We're still very new so there's much more left to grow hopefully. It's a work in progress."
"We are in a committed relationship, and of course, that involves love," said Kristina Rihanoff
The Russian beauty and Ben, both 37, were partnered together on last year's series of Strictly. The pair have been adamant that Kristina did not contribute to the end of Ben's marriage one year ago, although his estranged wife Abby has previously said that Ben "did the dirty" on her.
"Ben's said it many times and I'll say it again," said Kristina. "I wasn't involved in the breaking up of his marriage."
The new couple first went public with their romance in July, when Ben is said to have introduced the professional ballroom dancer to his family and friends, including the twin daughters he shares with Abby.
The Russian beauty added: "He doesn't see me as a dancer kicking my legs on Strictly Come Dancing"
Over the summer Ben took Kristina and his daughters on holiday to Turkey, where the group were pictured having some fun in the sun and splashing around in the sea. Additional photos showed the lovebirds relaxing on a sun lounger.
According to The Mail on Sunday who obtained the holiday photos, Abby knew that Ben and their seven-year-old twins would be jetting off to Antalya, but she did not know that Kristina would be joining them.
Ben and Abby Cohen split last September after 12 years of marriage
Following the breakdown of his marriage, Ben moved into a bachelor pad. He is said to have returned to his Northants family home, however, after struggling to meet the cost of renting and paying off his mortgage.
"He gets to see his kids more, but I'm told that it has been really awkward for him and Abby," a source told The Sun.
Meanwhile Ben has been supporting Kristina as the new series of Strictly launches. The athlete has said that he will visit her in the rehearsal studios, where Kristina will take to the dance floor with celebrity partner Daniel O'Donnell.