STRICTLY star Giovanni Pernice has been robbed by muggers who blinded him with pepper spray.
Two masked attackers grabbed his watch and rucksack as the 29-year-old clasped his hands to his face in Epping, Essex.
Giovanni Pernice has been left ‘absolutely terrified’ after he was attacked by masked muggers[/caption]
Italian pro dancer Giovanni at first feared it was an acid attack as the substance burned his eyes.
The attackers had pulled up in a black car as Giovanni was about to get into an Uber, and sped off afterwards.
Giovanni — who returns to TV tonight in the pre-recorded launch show for BBC1’s new Strictly series — was treated at the scene by paramedics.
He was understood to have avoided any long-term physical damage from the attack — and has told friends he now believes the noxious substance was pepper spray.
The dancing pro is thought to have avoided any long-term physical damage[/caption]
Last night a source close to him told The Sun: “His first thought was that it was an acid attack — because of the burning in his eyes.”
“He has been left absolutely terrified by the attack. It has hugely knocked his confidence.
His girlfriend, Pussycat Doll and former Strictly partner Ashley Roberts, 37, was shaken by news of the attack and cancelled social arrangements to comfort him.
The source added: “As a person in the public eye, Ashley is just as concerned that this kind of thing could happen to her too.”
Ex-Pussycat Doll and girlfriend Ashley Roberts was left shaken after she heard of her partner’s vicious attack[/caption]
Police are investigating the crime, which took place at 8.30pm one day last month.
Giovanni is the fourth Strictly pro to be attacked.
Pasha Kovalev, 39, was robbed of his mobile phone by moped muggers in London in June.
AJ Pritchard, 24, and brother Curtis, 23, were beaten up by eight yobs at a Cheshire club last year.
Strictly’s AJ Pritchard and his brother Curtis were attacked at a night club last December[/caption]
MOST READ IN BIZARRE
Gorka Marquez, 29, lost two teeth in an attack by thugs in Blackpool in 2016.
Giovanni joined the BBC1 show in 2015. He and Ashley announced their relationship after last year’s series.
- GOT a story? RING The Sun on 0207 782 4104 or WHATSAPP on 07423720250 or EMAIL [email protected]