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Strictly's Shirley Ballas claims her ex-husband Corky 'fat-shamed' her while pregnant with son Mark 


Strictly Come Dancing judge Shirley Ballas has claimed that her ex-husband, Corky, ‘fat-shamed’ while she was pregnant with their son Mark, now 34.

The ‘Queen of Latin’, 60, has discussed their 22-year tumultuous marriage, they divorced in 2007, in her new autobiography, Behind The Sequins.

In her book, Shirley also alleges that fellow professional dancer Corky, 59, even ‘hid a large cockroach’ under a doughnut while she was pregnant.   

'Fat-shamed': Strictly Come Dancing judge Shirley Ballas has claimed that her ex-husband, Corky, 'fat-shamed' while she was pregnant with their son Mark, now 34 (pictured in happier times)

‘Fat-shamed’: Strictly Come Dancing judge Shirley Ballas has claimed that her ex-husband, Corky, ‘fat-shamed’ while she was pregnant with their son Mark, now 34 (pictured in happier times) 

In an extract obtained by The Sun, the Strictly judge said: ‘Get too big and I’m out the door. I don’t do fat, Shirley. He started monitoring everything I ate, then he secretly got hold of my doughnut box and hid a large cockroach under the glazing.

‘When I ate my next doughnut, the cockroach crackled in my mouth with the legs dangling on the outside.

‘This made me vomit straight away. No doubt he thought this “creative” solution was to “save me from myself” and that I would ultimately thank him, but for anybody to want to do this to a pregnant woman is hard to believe.’

MailOnline has contacted both Corky and Mark’s representatives for comment. 

Autobiography: The 'Queen of Latin', 60, has discussed their 22-year tumultuous marriage, they divorced in 2007, in her new autobiography, Behind The Sequins (pictured in September)

Autobiography: The ‘Queen of Latin’, 60, has discussed their 22-year tumultuous marriage, they divorced in 2007, in her new autobiography, Behind The Sequins (pictured in September) 

Shirley was first married to Sammy Stopford, who she fell for when she became a professional dancer at age 17; they then worked together until 1983, during which time they got married. 

The star, who boasts a 40-year career as a Latin dancer, then met Corky and inevitably got divorced from Sammy. 

Shirley married Corky in 1985 and they went on to win a string of international ­dancing titles.

The couple, who divorced in 2007, share son, Mark Ballas, 34, who is a professional dancer and previously worked on the US version of Strictly – Dancing With The Stars.  

Pregnancy: In her book, Shirley also alleges that fellow professional dancer Corky, 59, even 'hid a large cockroach' under a doughnut while she was pregnant (pictured together with son Mark, now 34)

Pregnancy: In her book, Shirley also alleges that fellow professional dancer Corky, 59, even ‘hid a large cockroach’ under a doughnut while she was pregnant (pictured together with son Mark, now 34) 

Heyday: Shirley married Corky in 1985 and they went on to win a string of international ­dancing titles before their split in 2003 and later divorce in 2007

Heyday: Shirley married Corky in 1985 and they went on to win a string of international ­dancing titles before their split in 2003 and later divorce in 2007 

Shirley and Corky originally split in 2003, where he went on to have a five-year relationship with former Strictly star Kristina Rihanoff after becoming her dance teacher. Kristina is now in a relationship with former celebrity partner Ben Cohen.

Elsewhere in the new autobiography, Shirley speaks about how she had a furious row with Craig Revel Horwood after he reportedly body-shamed her back in 2018.   

The head Strictly judge described how Craig’s ‘painful’ alleged comments about her figure drudged up bad memories from her second marriage to retired dancer Corky.

Shirley said Craig gave a grovelling apology after he is said to have told a crowd her breasts were ‘hanging out’ when she auditioned to replace Len Goodman. 

Excerpt: In an extract obtained by The Sun, the Strictly judge said: 'He started monitoring everything I ate, then he secretly got hold of my doughnut box and hid a large cockroach under the glazing.' (pictured together)

Excerpt: In an extract obtained by The Sun, the Strictly judge said: ‘He started monitoring everything I ate, then he secretly got hold of my doughnut box and hid a large cockroach under the glazing.’ (pictured together) 

Craig, 55, allegedly said while promoting his autobiography at the time: ‘What happened is that she came to the audition and literally had her thing open to her navel. I am not joking.

‘Her boobs were like La BaZooKa things hanging out. It was not very, erm, Strictly. So they came in and sewed all that up. Then they had to push them down . . . and they’re fake.’ 

In an extract obtained by The Mirror, the retired dancer said: ‘It was awful and very, very painful. It brought up a lot of things from my past that I thought I’d dealt with.’

She claimed: ‘Once again, I was propelled back to my toughest days with [ex-husband] Corky, when he would make comments about my appearance: my crooked teeth, my nose, my a**e that was too big.

Dancing family: The couple, who divorced in 2007, share son, Mark Ballas, 34, who is a professional dancer and previously worked on the US version of Strictly - Dancing With The Stars (pictured in 2015)

Dancing family: The couple, who divorced in 2007, share son, Mark Ballas, 34, who is a professional dancer and previously worked on the US version of Strictly – Dancing With The Stars (pictured in 2015) 

‘All those insults just came flying back as I read what Craig had said, apparently in jest. I told him exactly how I felt.’

Shirley said she told Craig she felt a sense of betrayal as she felt he should ‘feel like a protector to me and I should to you.’

The Strictly star added Craig gave her a grovelling apology and sent her flowers as an olive branch.

MailOnline has contacted Craig and Corky’s representatives and Strictly for comment.

Her side of the story: Elsewhere in the new autobiography, Shirley speaks about how she had a furious row with Craig Revel Horwood after he reportedly body-shamed her back in 2018 (pictured last September)

Her side of the story: Elsewhere in the new autobiography, Shirley speaks about how she had a furious row with Craig Revel Horwood after he reportedly body-shamed her back in 2018 (pictured last September)

Shirley was with her second husband, professional dancer Corky when she decided to increase her bust size from a 32B to 34DD 18 years ago.

She told MailOnline last year: ‘For years Corky was what I call a jokester. He’d tease me with things like, “You’ve got breasts like two currants on a breadboard” or “You’ve got a sunken chest like a pirate’s something or other.” 

‘He didn’t like my teeth until I got braces at 25. It’s like a little pickaxe that goes, chip, chip, chip, until, in the end, you think you are ugly.

‘I thought I’d have this fantastic bust and everyone would look at me and think I was amazing. After the operation I did feel fantastic: I’d put a bra on and I had a cleavage.’

Taunt: Shirley says Craig gave a grovelling apology after he is said to have told a crowd her breasts were 'hanging out' when she auditioned to replace Len Goodman (pictured in 2019)

Taunt: Shirley says Craig gave a grovelling apology after he is said to have told a crowd her breasts were ‘hanging out’ when she auditioned to replace Len Goodman (pictured in 2019)

Before and after: Shirley was with her second husband, professional dancer Corky when she decided to increase her bust size from a 32B to 34DD 18 years ago, although she had her implants removed last year (pictured)

Before and after: Shirley was with her second husband, professional dancer Corky when she decided to increase her bust size from a 32B to 34DD 18 years ago, although she had her implants removed last year (pictured) 

But her delight was short-lived. ‘Because if you’re not happy with yourself — if you’re heart is not happy — you won’t be happy with anything you do to your body,’ she said.

‘It isn’t until you’re at peace with yourself that everything about you is beautiful. So what if you’ve got a smaller bust? I think it’s only since I’ve been with Danny that I’ve realised that.’

Last year Shirley had an operation to remove her implants and wowed fans when she returned to Strictly just days after her surgery.

The professional dancer is now loved-up with Danny Taylor, 46, after meeting while starring together in Jack and The Beanstalk in 2018. 

Loved-up: The professional dancer is now loved-up with Danny Taylor, 46, after meeting while starring together in Jack and The Beanstalk in 2018

Loved-up: The professional dancer is now loved-up with Danny Taylor, 46, after meeting while starring together in Jack and The Beanstalk in 2018  



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