Thursday 14 November 2019

The real queen of Strictly - Thousands have hailed Humphries’ strength for leaving the relationship

Rebecca Humphries' perfect response to her boyfriend's drunken kiss with his TV dancing partner has won her a legion of admirers, writes Tanya Sweeney

Plaudits: Rebecca Humphries has been praised for ending her relationship with Seann Walsh after he kissed his Strictly Come Dancing partner. (Photo by David M. Benett/Getty Images for Donmar Warehouse)
Plaudits: Rebecca Humphries has been praised for ending her relationship with Seann Walsh after he kissed his Strictly Come Dancing partner. (Photo by David M. Benett/Getty Images for Donmar Warehouse)

Tanya Sweeney

Take two attractive people, make them rehearse sexy dancing moves in close quarters for up to nine hours a day, and add some celebratory alcohol as a post-show boost.

Given all that, it should come as absolutely no surprise that the so-called 'Curse of Strictly' has struck again.

Last weekend, it emerged that Seann Walsh and his married Strictly Come Dancing dance partner Katya Jones had been spotted drunkenly kissing after a boozy night out.

Although it did of course come as a surprise to one person: Walsh's girlfriend Rebecca Humphries, who has reportedly been blindsided by the photos. Adding insult to injury, the timing of the pair's indiscretion could barely have been worse.

"Those pictures were taken on October 3rd. It was my birthday," Humphries revealed in a statement posted online. "I was alone at home when Sean texted at 10pm saying the two of them were going for one innocent drink."

Only hours before the photos broke the internet, Rebecca had been spotted crying with pride in the Strictly audience as Walsh and Jones perfected the paso doble.

Seann Walsh and dance partner Katya Jones. Photo: PA
Seann Walsh and dance partner Katya Jones. Photo: PA

Yet earlier this week, any affection appears to have dissolved as she dumped the comedian, releasing a fierce statement on Twitter.

In it, Rebecca revealed that she had suspected that Walsh had been cheating on her for weeks (more recently, Strictly insiders have observed that Walsh and Jones' flirting has indeed been happening for a while).

"We spoke and I told him, not for the first time, that his actions over the past three weeks had led me to believe something inappropriate was going on," she admitted. "He aggressively, and repeatedly, called me a psycho/nuts/mental. As he has done countless times throughout our relationship when I've questioned his inappropriate, hurtful behaviour."

For now, Walsh and Humphries' relationship appears to be no more. So far, so careworn. In the past, previous victims of the 'Curse Of Strictly' have kept wise counsel.

In the memorable case of Ben Cohen and his dance-partner-turned-lover Kristina Rihanoff, Cohen's ex-wife Abby had little choice but to take the high road with a healthy dose of pragmatism.

"I'm Ben Cohen's ex-wife," she said in a 2016 statement as the couple's divorce was finalised. "If it wasn't for that woman me and Ben would still be married. But so what? I'm moving on. I don't want to talk about being the ditched wife. Ben's getting on with his life. I wish him well with his new family."

Rebecca Humphries' response has been pitch-perfect: not only is she articulating her discontent and hurt, she is eloquently outlining why she has felt the need to move on. No wonder so many others can relate.

For there has been something in the dignified triumph of Humphries' statement that has won the Welsh actress a whole new legion of fans. And for a woman reeling in shock, her thoughts on infidelity and moving on ring impressive. Not only did she remind others of her inner resilience; she also managed to get a few subtle swipes in at her ex-boyfriend, leaving others to wonder if this indiscretion could work to her advantage.

"This whole business has served to remind me that I am a strong capable person who is now free; and no victim," the statement continued. "I have a voice and will use it by saying this to any woman out there who deep down feels worthless and trapped with a man they love: Believe in yourself and your instincts. It's more than lying. It's controlling. Tell some very close friends who, if they're anything like my wonderful network, will swoop in and take care of the logistics and of you."

Elsewhere in the statement, Humphries also revealed she believes when a person cheats they have a "need for control comes from a place of vulnerability. I think it certainly does in Seann's case." And, with a final flourish, she set down her royal flush: "Despite everything, I hope he gets what he wants from this. I'm not sorry I took the cat though."

Twitter users, among them Marian Keyes, Stacey Solomon and Carol Vorderman supported Humphries' statement, and domestic violence non-profit Women's Aid also praised her for speaking out against controlling behaviour and raising awareness of emotionally dysfunctional relationships.

Marriage therapist David Kavanagh is impressed with Humphries' statement, yet advises those away from the public limelight to exercise caution in a similar situation.

"I personally wouldn't advise going public with something like this," he says. "When you're trying to deal with your own emotions around this, having lots of people telling you what you should or shouldn't do can feel like a distraction. It's better to tell the person whether you feel wronged or this is unfair, in private."

As to Walsh's accusations of her being a 'psycho' when Humphries voiced her concerns around infidelity, Kavanagh observes that this is a classic, deflective defence: "I hear this exact same thing from women all the time. He tells her she is being ridiculous, and very often it turns out that he is indeed cheating," he says.

"If someone resorts to name-calling [like 'psycho'] it's hardly respectful. Of course, someone can be paranoid and their fears can be unfounded, but in that the response [on the part of the accused] needs to be compassionate and reassuring, with the person telling them they have nothing to worry about." And while many cheered Humphries' strength for immediately leaving the relationship, yet as Kavanagh notes, not all affair revelations need to necessarily result in a red card.

"It depends on whether you have children, if you're living together, or if you're financial dependent on each other," Kavanagh reasons. "Affairs can happen for many reasons, and it can sometimes be a symptom of something as opposed to a cause of something.

"But many people do recover from affairs. I've worked with several couples who have overcome an infidelity. It's not easy but it happens. I think in order to move forward, honesty on the part of the person who does the cheating is important.

"In my experience, the drip-feed of details - 'it's happened more than once, it's gone on for a long time' - can often cause more damage than the original revelation of the affair itself."

Irish Independent

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