‘I’m trying to protect her’ Pasha Kovalev speaks out as wife Rachel Riley receives abuse

Countdown: Rachel Riley reveals her birthing plan

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Pasha Kovalev, 41, has shared the ways he is ensuring his pregnant wife Rachel Riley is “protected” after she had been the subject of “trolling” online. The former Strictly Come Dancing professional said the wellbeing of his family, including the couple’s one-year-old daughter Maven, is the most “important thing” to him.

Trolling affects my wife a lot

Pasha Kovalev

Opening up on the abuse the Countdown host had previously received online, Pasha said: “The wellbeing of my family is the most important thing so trolling affects my wife a lot.

“I’m very distant from this kind of thing, I never look at comments online and Rachel is trying to get a point across about racial abuse or domestic violence and she gets back very, I would say, ridiculous messages.

“People completely miss the point and speak about something totally irrelevant.

“I am trying to protect her as much as I can by providing a safe environment at home, that’s all I can do and try to direct her attention to the good things.”

The Russian dancer explained it is impossible for Rachel to completely “avoid” all negative responses online, however, he is “insisting” she cuts down on her screen time.

Rachel is currently due to give birth to their second child this Autumn.

“I’m trying to support her to do less of it [social media] whilst she’s pregnant,” Pasha added to OK! magazine.

 Rachel confessed she had to take a step back from her screen after becoming “upset” by some comments.

Speaking out on her now limited use of social media, she told The Sunday Times: “As soon as I get home I bathe Maven.

“That routine gets you off the phone and focuses you, which I find mentally calming.

“I’ve definitely changed the way I use social media since having a baby.

“Being upset all day by external stuff isn’t fair on her. I don’t want her to have a mum who’s annoyed all the time.”

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Previously the Countdown star had revealed her unborn baby had stopped kicking in the womb for two days due to stress caused by online trolls.

Speaking on the Trolled podcast with EastEnders actress Tracy-Ann Oberman, back in 2019, she said: “I was very stressed and upset for a couple of days and my baby stopped wriggling for a couple of days.

“So at that point, it’s like, ‘You know what, nah it’s not worth the hormones.’

“I’ve now changed most of my Twitter settings as you don’t need to see them.

“They’re not after proper debate. They’re not after their minds changing. They’re not doing it for virtuous reasons, so I block them.”

Rachel claimed the abuse intensified after she endorsed a BBC Panorama documentary that was critical of Labour’s handling of anti-Semitism complaints.

“Being pregnant has highlighted that for me: I don’t need this,” she said at the time.

The star joined others, including ex-England striker Gary Lineker, in a campaign to stamp out online trolling.

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