Strictly Come Dancing star Kristina Rihanoff has said online abuse about her love life left her feeling “suicidal”.

The dancer dated boxer Joe Calzaghe after she partnered him on the show, splitting in 2013 after four years, while she earlier dated Strictly professional Vincent Simone.

Kristina Rihanoff and Joe Calzaghe

Kristina Rihanoff with Joe Calzaghe (Ian West/PA)

She has previously hit out at critics after she had to insist that nothing had gone on between herself and Ben Cohen after being blamed for the rugby star’s marriage split.

The 38-year-old dancer told the Sun: “I felt suicidal at that point in my life. I was having such dark thoughts – and I’m not a person who gives up easily.

“I know I’m strong but the abuse… it just destroyed me emotionally. I couldn’t find a single positive thing to tell myself.”

Kristina Rihanoff

(Jonathan Short/AP/PA)

The star also revealed that she took the decision in 2013 to carry on with the hit BBC One series in the knowledge that her relationship with Calzaghe would “fall to pieces”.

“I also had to be ready to quit dancing, something that had been part of my life since I was six years old. And I didn’t feel ready to sacrifice my work,” she added.

“By accepting the next series of Strictly, I knew this would potentially be the final nail in the coffin for my relationship with Joe.”

Daniel O'Donnell with his dance partner Kristina Rihanoff

Kristina with her 2015 celeb partner Daniel O’Donnell (Ray Burmiston/BBC/PA)

In June Rihanoff told Loose Women: “I didn’t go in to the show to have my private life splashed all over the papers.”

And she added: “I just don’t understand why women are played against each other so badly.”

The star partners Irish singer Daniel O’Donnell in this year’s series and their waltz routine split the judges in Friday’s opening show.

More on that here.

Strictly Come Dancing continues on BBC1, Saturday, September 26, 6.15pm.