Strictly’s Karen Hauer details jealousy and painful split from Kevin Clifton

Laura Harding

Strictly Come Dancing star Karen Hauer has described the pain of her split from Kevin Clifton, saying she became jealous he was not paying her enough attention.

The professional dancer, who split from her former co-star in 2018 after three years of marriage, said she wanted to fight for their relationship but there was “so much anger and so much emotional baggage” and it took a long time to “cut the umbilical cord that I had connected to him”.

Speaking on The Divorce Club podcast, she said: “Things started going wrong, little things, like a phone call.

“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’.

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“Sometimes I would get the ‘You’re not very kind, you’re not very nice’ and I was like ‘What do you mean? I don’t understand’.

“I can be very intense in my private life, I like to keep things private or I don’t want to be the smiley face, I’m just normal and I want to be normal on my days off when I’m home.

“There were little attacks that we would do to each other.”

She added: “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.

“And then it just got really nasty overnight.”

She continued: “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.”

Hauer, who was paired with Jamie Laing in the most recent series of Strictly, said the couple did not make their split public for a while and even after they did announce their separation, they continued to work together for years.

Strictly Come Dancing 2020
Karen Hauer and Jamie Laing (Guy Levy/BBC/PA)

Clifton, who won the show with his now-girlfriend Stacey Dooley in 2018, quit the BBC series last year.

Hauer said: “It was hard, because you can see how much love your have for one another, and respect, and under different circumstances of better understanding of ourselves, and what we needed to actually to just sit down and have some time for ourselves, I think it would have worked.

“Obviously, other things happen, there are other factors that happened, that really hurt us both.

“But I thought I would have never let go of it.

“I wouldn’t have never, never let go of it.

Strictly Come Dancing 2018
Kevin Clifton and Stacey Dooley with the glitterball trophy (Guy Levy/BBC/PA)

“I would have liked to have fought for it and it took me a year after we separated to actually let go of him.

“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 breakup.”

Hauer said she had not felt ready to make their split public and said: “I just wish we had time to reflect on what we were doing.

“We did some therapy sessions but there was so much anger and so much emotional baggage from both of us that we couldn’t see through it.

“It’s very hard because there are a lot of things that you just want to keep to yourself.”