Seann Walsh’s Comments Prove No One Can Escape The Strictly Curse Unharmed

The comedian has spoke about how his Strictly kissing scandal causes him to have panic attacks to this day.

Seann Walsh

by Georgia Aspinall |
Updated on

Three years ago, there was a case of the Strictly Curse that made waves like no other. After comedian Seann Walsh was pictured kissing his dance partner Katya Jones outside a Marylebone pub, his girlfriend at the time, actor Rebecca Humphries, released an incredibly powerful statement detailing her ordeal the night he cheated and how Walsh had gaslit her over the course of their relationship.

Her incredible and inspiring statement received near 90,000 likes at the time for raising awareness of emotional abuse, while Seann stayed silent having apologised publicly prior to her post. Now, the comedian is speaking up again about how he has been affected since the kiss went viral.

Speaking to the Take Flight podcast, he explained that he was naïve to how big Strictly was but that up until the news broke of the kiss, he had ‘never enjoyed myself so much in my life’ being on the show.

‘I think what a lot of people forget it is that [my career as a comedian] was going well and people seemed to like me,’ Seann said. ‘Then on the Saturday night, I was informed that I’d been papped kissing my dance partner when I’d been in a long-term relationship and I was living with my girlfriend and Katya was married – we’d been caught. From that point on my life changed forever.’

Seann went on to say that he quickly became a tabloid villain after Rebecca’s statement was posted and explained that he had lied to her because he considered his drunk persona different to his sober one – so his sober self would cover up for drunk actions.

‘[After] my ex-girlfriend posted online a statement about me lying about the kiss… that went on to other public accusations about me,’ Seann continued. ‘There was this sort of image of me [that] was built by the media… I’m the tabloid villain after that, only negative things have really ever been written about me in that way so it’s very difficult to talk openly.’

Now, he says he suffers from panic attacks and is on anti-anxiety and depression medication to cope.

‘I’d had panic attacks in my early 20s and they sort of went, the panic attacks came back, big big panic attacks,’ he detailed. ‘I ended up having what I later found out were vertigo seizures. I had one the other day, I just lied down – I had to lie down in the street, it's quite humiliating.’

'I have to relive what happened. Still, I can be OK then suddenly the memories of it all come back and I can’t stop thinking about it and it defeats me and beats me until the place starts spinning. 'They're less frequent, I'd never had them before. I'm on anti-anxiety, anti-depression, it's called Sertraline, to try and help with that. For me exercise is what helps me.'

Explaining that he was ‘living without hope’ after the incident, he said he had a dream of leaving his mark on the world as a comedian. ‘And that had gone, really,’ Seann concluded. ‘That had gone with the kiss and the statement and ongoing articles. That seemed to have gone. I was a very dream-like young man, I would dream of doing the Apollo, my sitcom, I was always living in this fantasy land. Then it was suddenly the first time… not for the first time, but it was the first time I was so completely living without hope. A kiss and a statement had sort of destroyed my dreams, destroyed who I was. That was all gone, Who was I going to be for the rest of my life?’

Reactions to the interview have been mixed online, with many commending Seann for opening up about his mental health struggles while others remain cynical of him given the emotional abuse Rebecca detailed in her statement.

Because of course, she too was broken for a time because of the kiss. In 2019, she wrote about the experience for Elle, calling it her ‘worst nightmare’ and detailing how sought therapy to cope with the emotional issues the relationship as a whole gave her. She made a point not to describe herself as a ‘victim’ when the incident happened, but it would be remiss to dismiss the fact that emotional abuse and manipulation has long-term impacts on someone’s emotional wellbeing.

It’s with all that in mind we can only draw one conclusion: the Strictly Curse is nothing to laugh about.

Quite often, we speak of it so nonchalantly, as if these aren’t real relationships, marriages and families that are being broken up. As if this is just something someone becomes victim of through no fault of their own, rather than an active decision to betray the trust of their partner and boundaries they had set.

If both Seann and Rebecca had to seek mental health help after their experience, when we talk about the Strictly Curse we should be talking about the overwhelming, long-lasting impact that cheating can have – not joking about who might fall foul to it. Yes, Seann’s issues seem to stem from the fact his actions became public and thus his reputation was tarnished, but if he hadn’t made the decision to kiss Katya in the first place, neither Seann nor Rebecca would’ve had to experience this emotional turmoil.

Because when it happens on Strictly, it follows you too. Almost everyone whose ever been hit with a Strictly Curse rumour, from Rachel Riley to Susanna Reid, will see it brought up routinely throughout the years whenever their name hits the press. If there’s any truth in rumours then, it’s a wrongdoing that will follow you your entire career. And if there isn’t? Well, it’s stress on a relationship or marriage that no one needs brought up time and time again.

Whoever is to blame in an incident of cheating, whether we accept their apologies or not, Seann’s comments do highlight just how NOT worth it cheating (and lying about cheating) is for anyone involved.

Read More:

Rebecca Humphries Break Up Statement About Seann Walsh’s Gaslighting Is Incredible And Inspiring

There Are Lessons We Can All Learn From The Strictly Scandal

Why Seann Walsh’s Use Of ‘Psycho’ Is One Of The Biggest Problems With His Behaviour

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