Former ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ pro Aliona Vilani has revealed she’s seeking legal advice against Johnny Ball, after he suggested she’d lied about injuring herself when they were partnered together back in 2012.
Shortly after discovering who her celebrity partner would be, Aliona was forced to withdraw from the competition due to injury, but during an interview on ‘Good Morning Britain’ earlier this month, Johnny admitted he’d been less than convinced by her story.
Speaking to HuffPost UK about Johnny’s comments, Aliona explained: “I am aware that Johnny Ball has made allegations regarding my fractured ankle during 2012 ‘SCD’, which I strongly deny.
“I have instructed solicitors and am taking legal advice in relation to his allegations. It is therefore not appropriate to comment further at this time.”
During his ‘GMB’ interview, Johnny did little to mask his disdain for the dancer, audibly growling when her name was mentioned and remarking bluntly: “Aliona supposedly broke her leg. She did not at all.”
Johnny later alleged that she “went to the South of France with her boyfriend” the following weekend, adding: “I got a new pro dancer who… we went out [of the competition], and her contract finished two days later.”
He then joked: “50 years in television this year… and I think it ends now.”
HuffPost UK has reached out to representatives for Johnny Ball for further comment.
A year after leaving due to her broken leg, Aliona was initially absent from the 2013 professional line-up, but was ultimately brought in as a last minute replacement for Natalie Lowe, when she was unable to compete due to a foot injury.
She eventually became the first professional dancer to ever win the show twice in 2015, after being partnered with The Wanted singer Jay McGuiness, after which she bowed out of ‘Strictly’ to start a family with husband Vincent Kavanagh.