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Kara Tointon's Artem is a "love rat"
It's only been three days since lovebirds Kara Tointon and Artem Chigvintsev cha-cha-ed their way to victory on Strictly Come Dancing, but already but their fairytale romance - and Artem's character - are under fire.
While 15 million viewers' hearts melted as they watched the pair fall in love on screen, someone was less than impressed.
That someone is Artem's ex-wife, American Giselle Peacock, who has accused her former husband of being "obsessed with fame, success and money". The professional ballroom dancer claims he only married her to secure a green card and said he dumped her just eight months after their wedding, on the very day he was picked to perform on US show So You Think You Can Dance. And she doesn't think that was a coincidence.
"When Artem and I got married I believed it was for love," she said. "But for a long time after we split up I questioned if, underneath it all, Artem was just looking for a green card, which are easier to get if you're married."
The pair married in 2004 when Artem was, according to Giselle, "a sweet, skinny Russian boy". Giselle said she supported him from the beginning: "We were inseparable. We started dancing together as partners within weeks of his arrival. My dad agreed to sponsor Artem to get a work visa so we could continue training together. He literally had no money, so for the first eight months I supported him by buying all his food, clothes, dance classes, entertainment."
But the rot began to set in when he found success. Giselle said, "He became more and more obsessed with fame, success and money. Artem loves pretty women and he loves to be in the limelight."
Artem has also enjoyed a whirlwind romance with a judge from U.S. show Dancing With The Stars, who was 14 years his senior. That's certainly one way of securing the perfect 10.
This sounds like a case of sour grapes to us, but whatever the truth, it sounds like Kara's got her head firmly screwed on about her blossoming romance. Speaking before last weekend's final she said, "You don't know until the whole weird [Strictly] experience is over as to how it will go. I can't wait for Artem to meet my friends and just do normal things and see what happens from there. But I would hate to set myself up for a fall."
Sounds like the girl knows what she's doing. Just don't introduce him to Arlene Phillips.