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Strictly Come Dancing star recalls being beaten with a baseball bat and called a ‘faggot’ during vile homophobic attack

Patrick Kelleher October 28, 2019
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Johannes Radebe Strictly Come Dancing homophobic attack

Strictly Come Dancing star Johannes Radebe (Karwai Tang/WireImage)

Strictly Come Dancing star Johannes Radebe has revealed that he was assaulted with a baseball bat in a homophobic attack as a teenager in South Africa.

Radebe – who was voted off the show on Sunday – told The Sun about his traumatic experience of being attacked because he is gay.

The dance star revealed that he was bullied as a child and was often called a “sissy boy”. But when he was 17, the abuse bubbled over into a sinister and terrifying homophobic attack.

He was beaten by a fellow student with a baseball bat one day at school.

Strictly Come Dancing star Johannes Radebe was called a ‘faggot’ during homophobic attack.

“I was terrified,” Radebe said. “All I can remember was asking, ‘What have I done? What did I do to you?’ He said, ‘Well, you’re a faggot and disgusting.”

He continued: “We ended up physically fighting because when somebody comes at you with a baseball bat, I don’t think you can just stand there.

“It was more jealousy – I was never there at school as I was usually away dancing in competitions.”

Radebe said that his oppressor was punishing him for “what I am” in the horrifying attack.

All I can remember was asking, ‘What have I done? What did I do to you?’ He said, ‘Well, you’re a faggot and disgusting.

Elsewhere in the interview, Radebe opened up about growing up gay in South Africa – and says homosexuality was “frowned upon” in his childhood country.

He said that he felt liberated “for the first time” in his life when he came to the UK after growing up in a country where society told him there was something wrong with him.

Radebe will perform Strictly‘s first same-sex dance this weekend.

While Radebe and his dance partner Catherine Tyldesley were voted off the show on Saturday, fans have not seen the back of him just yet. He will be performing again on 3 November in the show’s first same-sex dance.

He will perform the historic dance with fellow dance professional Graziano di Prima to ‘Shine’ by Emeli Sande.

Radebe is excited to break new ground for the show in the same-sex dance next weekend.

“It will be one of the moments where we all sit back and go, ‘This is what we’ve been waiting for.’

“Graziano is just as excited,” he continued. “We’re best mates, first and foremost – we love each other. Whenever we have a moment, we dance together.”

Related topics: Hate crime, homophobic attack, Johannes Radebe, South Africa, Strictly Come Dancing

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