This season of Dancing with the Stars has had its share of controversies.
While Cheryl Burke has expressed her desire to retire from the competition, and Artem Chigvintsev and Kaitlyn Bristowe have complained of unfair treatment, Gleb Savchenko’s going through a public breakup with wife Elena Samodanova.
A number of accusations have been tossed out against Savchenko — including that he cheated with a cast member— but he continues to dispute his estranged wife’s claims.
Elena Samodanova and Gleb Savchenko split in November
Savchenko and Samodanova married in 2006 and after 14 years together, announced they were separating November. Samodanova, who’s also a professional dancer, began posting a series of cryptic notes on Instagram before the former couple made an official announcement.
One of her messages read, “I don’t hate you, I’m just disappointed you turned into everything you said you’d never be.”
Savchenko issued a statement via US Weekly and indicated the pair would focus on co-parenting their two daughters. “It is with a heavy heart that I tell you my wife and I are parting ways after 14 years of marriage,” he wrote.
“We still intend to coparent our wonderful children together who we love so dearly, and we will strive to continue to be the best parents that we can to them. We ask that you respect our family’s need for privacy and healing during this time.”
Initially, Samodanova said Savchenko was cheating on her, leading many to believe the pro dancer was unfaithful with his DWTS partner, Chrishell Stause.
Samodanova files for divorce, spotted with new beau
On Dec. 22, Samodanova reportedly filed for divorce. Page Six reported that she was spotted on a beach in Mexico with a DWTS (the Russian version) dancer, Vlad Kvartin, and the two were kissing and cuddling.
In the month since their separation, Samodanova has been venting on social media about her relationship with Savchenko and accused him of infidelity and abandoning her financially. But Savchenko refutes her story and has alleged that she’s been unfaithful with Kvartin.
Savchenko claims marriage was abusive
In addition to asserting that his estranged wife was the one who cheated, Savchenko says she was mentally abusive. He spoke to Entertainment Tonight and alleged that Samodanova was jealous about his DWTS job in America and she orchestrated things so she could work with Kvartin on DWTS Russia.
“We’ve had problems for years. I was in a mentally abusive, jealous relationship,” Savchenko claimed. “I always said to myself, ‘Listen, she’s the mother of your kids, and you love her, just make it work for your kids.’”
He also claimed their home cameras caught her coming and going late at night while drunk. Savchenko denied cheating.
“The thing is, I’ve never actually cheated on her. Never, ever, ever. This whole thing, it was her trying to set it up,” he said. “All of those partners that I danced with, it might have looked on TV like [it was something more], but it never was the case.”
The dancer added that Samodanova is working to tarnish his reputation. He accused her of making a threat: “After this divorce, I’m gonna skin you. I’m gonna take everything you have, even your kids, and make you walk back to Russia where you come from.’ Those were her exact words,” recalled Savchenko.
Their split is playing out in public, but both claim they want to move forward for their children and their professional lives.
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