Strictly's Pasha 'tries to protect' pregnant wife Rachel Riley from sick trolls

STRICTLY Come Dancing pro Pasha Kovalev has opened up about trying to protect his wife Rachel Riley from cruel trolls during her second pregnancy. 

Countdown star Rachel, 35, is currently expecting her second child with pro dancer Pasha, 41, later this year, joining their daughter Maven. 

Speaking about the upcoming arrival, Pasha said he was ‘excited’ to be a dad to another child but has felt even more protective of his wife as she faces criticism online. 

He told OK!: "I'm very distant from this kind of thing. 

"I never look at comments online and Rachel is trying to get a point across about racial abuse or domestic violence and she gets back very, I would say, ridiculous messages.

"People completely miss the point and speak about something totally irrelevant.

"I am trying to protect her as much as I can by providing a safe environment at home, that's all I can do and try to direct her attention to the good things."

Pasha and Rachel got married in 2019, after first meeting during her stint on Strictly in 2013. 

They started dating a year later, and have remained together ever since. 

Maven was born shortly after they tied the knot, and Pasha said it was intentional that they had a second child less than two years later as they wanted their children to grow up with as little an age gap as possible. 

"Every pregnancy is different but she is doing very well,” he said. 

"She's in good health and good spirits so everything is fine. Nothing's too different from the first pregnancy actually."

Last week, Rachel lost the latest round of a libel battle after suing a pro-Jeremy Corbyn blogger who called her a "serial abuser".

She had taken Mike Sivier to court after he published an article on his website Vox Political branding her "a hypocrite and a bully". 

Ms Riley’s dispute with Mr Sivier centres on tweets posted as part of an online debate on anti-Semitism in the Labour Party.

She exchanged several with a user who identified themselves as a 16-year-old called Rose.

Mr Sivier defended what he had published, arguing that it was "substantially true", honest opinion, and a matter of public interest.

A High Court judge had previously ruled in favour of the Countdown star and struck out Mr Sivier's defences.

However, Mr Sivier has now won an appeal, with three Court of Appeal judges ruling that his public interest defence should be assessed at trial.

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