Rebecca Humphries: The true star of Strictly
- Credit: Dan Wooller/REX/Shutterstock
Rachel Moore awards Rebecca Humphries the perfect score for giving Seann Walsh the last tango.
Until this week, Rebecca Humphries was a little known actor, jobbing her way through TV parts and auditions.
Today, hurt and humiliated by the very public betrayal by her live-in partner of five years and his Strictly Come Dancing professional dancing partner, she's a household name, an icon of strength and a role model for young women everywhere.
It's International Day of the Girl today, and every mother of girls should mark it by tell their daughters Rebecca's story, just how she told it on Instagram.
On Saturday evening, Rebecca was filmed, joining a standing ovation, sobbing with pride after her partner, comedian Seann Walsh, excited Strictly judges by his pasa doble with professional dancer Katya Jones.
Hours later, photos and a video emerged of the dancers in lingering passionate clinches in the street, days before their performance, while Rebecca sat at home alone, on her birthday, having been fobbed off by Walsh insisting they were sharing an 'innocent drink' after practice.
To add insult to injury, carefully worded apologies were issued by Walsh and married Jones on social media downplaying their actions as merely a 'drunken snog', which they regretted.
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As if that is ever right between someone married and another in a committed relationship?
And, if Rebecca hadn't been insulted enough by being her birthday snub, women view snogging as just as intimate, if not more, than full blown sex.
What happened next was a masterclass of how to walk away from partners who believe it's their right to have their cake and eat it; a perfect lesson of empowerment and confidence that should be on the National Curriculum.
Learning how sassy, cool and clear-headed Rebecca was in betrayal; how her response oozed attitude, class, confidence and boldness would serve young women far better in life than some of the twaddle they need to learn in the classroom, and help shape a new generation of strong women.
How to take no cr*p and call time on a bad relationship in style, with heads held high, dignity intact and stilettos firmly embedded in the moral high-ground.
The former Thorpe St Andrew school pupil also revealed 'gas-lighting' – when one partner makes the other question the reality of events describing his or her protests or suspicions as crazy – which will resonate with so many people in relationships with controlling people, and, yes, they can be women too.
'I am not a victim,' she wrote the day after the photos and film were revealed. 'I have a voice and will use it by saying this to any woman out there who, deep down feels worthless and trapped with a man they love.'
'Believe in yourself and your instincts. It's more than lying. It's controlling.'
Her profile picture shows her wearing a Strong Girls Club t-shirt, steely ice blue eyes defiant and challenging. She's not the type of woman to mess with, but, like everyone, she was vulnerable in love.
Her biggest lesson is to advise others to trust their instincts. If your hunch is ear-piercing alarm bells about what's going on, and what someone else doesn't want you to know, that instinct is probably spot on.
If that someone then calls you a psycho/mental/nutcase for voicing that instinct, you're definitely right.
She trusted Walsh to come home to her, she suspected all was not well, she said he attacked her mental health for suspecting anything, but those instincts, she said, were right all along.
From her statement, young women can see she holds all the cards now. She's still devastated and hurting but she's in control.
Her subtle mocking of Walsh by referring to him as Sean(n) throughout, causing the reader to snigger at Walsh's affectation and give her a high-five.
Her last words – 'I'm not sorry I took the cat' – tell the story. She will be fine.
From these words, young women can learn that making the break from a bad situation doesn't mean the end, rather new beginnings.
Personally, if there were as much as a hairline crack in my relationship, there would be no Strictly cha-cha-cha, ever. The choreography is so raunchy and intense, I'm not surprised boundaries are crossed, but every action comes with a consequence, as Walsh and Jones have discovered.
Jones, as a married woman and the professional dancer charge with keeping within the rules, has just as big a mess to sort out, but hers is a very different kettle of fish with only herself to blame.
Young women can see they handed Rebecca the power to walk away. It is so often said, the greatest revenge is letting the other woman (or man) keep your partner.
And she gets the cat. Perfect. And hopefully a few other things to get her own back, like cleaning the loo with his toothbrush perhaps, my favourite act of revenge against a cheat. Ooops. Did I say that out loud?
The, if there is justice, the nation will watch them dance (of course Strictly is allowing them to continue, think of its rocketing viewing figures) and the nation will vote with Rebecca to send them home to sort out the mess they have caused.