‘Not allowed to cry’ Rachel Riley fought with husband Pasha after trolls left her in tears

Rachel Riley recalls going to a burlesque show with Pasha

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Rachel Riley has confessed that she once got into an argument with her husband Pasha Kovalev after anti-Semitic comments from trolls online reduced her to tears. The Countdown presenter recalled how the former Strictly Come Dancing professional had told her she was “not allowed to cry”.

Rachel, 36, has opened up about the anti-Semitic comments she has received from vile Twitter trolls and the effect it had on her husband Pasha, 42.

The Countdown star discussed the online abuse she received with Anna Whitehouse on her Dirty Mother Pukka podcast.

She told Anna: “At one stage I spoke publicly on a podcast and it was like a tap had been turned on.

“Literally, it felt like someone had pressed a button and sent them all in my direction all at once,” she said, referring to the online hatred she received when she publicly campaigned against anti-Semitism.

“It was overwhelming and it was my birthday week and I just remember I was crying because something really horrible had happened,” Rachel remembered. 

“And Pasha was saying: ‘Look, if you’re going to do this, you’re not allowed to cry!’

“I think it was one of the only times we argued about it, actually, and he’s been so supportive and we talked about it and then he never said anything along that realm.”

She added: “He was just frustrated that he could see these horrible people getting to me.”

When Anna asked Rachel about her tears once more, the maths whizz confirmed she “won’t be joining any more Twitter pile-ons”.

Rachel has not been afraid to voice her views online over the years, particularly when it came to accusations of anti-Semitism under Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party. 

The star has often been outspoken about Labour online, and has faced plenty of vitriol from internet trolls as a result. 

After the general election in 2019 that saw the Labour Party lose to the Conservatives, Rachel described some of the disgusting messages she received from people online.

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Her comments about antisemitism in Corbyn’s Labour Party come after a 2020 report by the UK’s human rights watchdog found Labour to be responsible for “unlawful” acts of harassment and discrimination during his four-anda-half years as party leader.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission investigation found an inadequate process of handling antisemitism complaints.

The report said there were three breaches of the Equality Act under Corbyn’s Labour: political interference in anti-Semitism complaints, failure to provide adequate training to those handling antisemitism complaints and harassment.

Rachel has co-presented Channel 4’s Countdown since 2009 and its comedy spin-off 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown since 2012.

 

She met husband Pasha in 2013 after competing alongside him in BBC show Strictly Come Dancing.

The pair married in 2019 and later that year Rachel gave birth to their first daughter Maven Aria.

In April 2021, she announced she was pregnant with their second child, giving birth to daughter Noa that November. 

Dirty Mother Pukka with Anna Whitehouse is available to stream here.

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