Karen and Kevin were married for three years, eventually separating in 2018, after which they continued to dance together professionally.
In a new interview with The Divorce Club podcast, Karen recalled how things “started going wrong” in the lead-up to the break-up, revealing that jealousy and not seeing much of one another began to take its toll.
“Things started going wrong, little things, like a phone call,” she explained. “Like, ‘You didn’t call me the whole day. That’s OK, you’re working, I’m working too. We are working the same job but I take time to call you’.
“Sometimes [he would say] ‘you’re not very kind, you’re not very nice’ and I was like ‘What do you mean? I don’t understand’.”
She continued: “There were little attacks that we would do to each other… then the fights, I was getting jealous. But I was only jealous because I wasn’t getting the attention that I wanted from my husband.
“And then I didn’t understand why so I started gripping, trying to pull him. ‘Why are you not doing this? Why are you not doing that?’. Exactly what you’re not supposed to do, I just wanted answers.”
Karen told the podcast that things “got really nasty overnight” near the end of the relationship, stating: “Eventually we both couldn’t take it anymore.
“I still have a lot of love for my exes but when you wake up and you know it’s ending today, it really felt like that. I got out of bed and we looked at each other and we knew.”
“I would have liked to have fought for it and it took me a year after we separated to actually let go of him,” Karen added. “It took me a long time to cut the umbilical cord that I had connected to him.
“Because it was connected for such a long time and at a completely different level than my first marriage, because this marriage was what I was always looking for. But I learned a lot, a huge lesson for me because of that break-up.”
The pair eventually announced their split in a joint interview on Chris Evans’ Radio 2 Breakfast Show in 2018, with Kevin saying at the time: “We’re still the best of friends – we’ve got a lot of love and respect for each other.”
Kevin is now in a relationship with his winning Strictly partner Stacey Dooley, having announced he was leaving the show in early 2020.
Karen remains a Strictly pro, and last year made it to the final with reality star Jamie Laing.
Following her split from Kevin, she dated opera singer David Webb for two years, though it was reported towards the end of last year that they had ended their relationship.
Listen to Karen’s interview on The Divorce Club podcast in full here.