Strictly star Johannes Radebe felt like he’d been ‘slapped in the face’ after being ‘treated like a criminal’ and stopped by police amid show’s UK tour for ‘looking suspicious’
Strictly Come Dancing star Johannes Radebe has revealed he was stopped by police during the show’s UK tour for ‘looking suspicious’.
The South-African dancer, 36, recalled being approached by officers outside a venue and said being treated like a criminal felt like a ‘slap in the face’.
In an extract of his autobiography JOJO Finally Home obtained by The Mirror Johannes wrote: ‘A police van pulled up into the parking lot where I was sitting’.
‘When they came over I showed my ID. “Is there something wrong?” I asked one of them. “No, you look suspicious and like someone we are looking for”‘.
‘Maybe they were doing their job but the fact I’d just been on stage with thousands of people shouting my name and now I was being approached by police who thought I could be a criminal felt like a slap in the face.’
Candid: Strictly Come Dancing star Johannes Radebe, 36, has revealed he was stopped by police during the show’s UK tour for ‘looking suspicious’
Showman: The South-African dancer recalled being approached by officers outside a venue and said the being treated like a criminal felt like a ‘slap in the face’ (pictured on the BBC show)
It comes after the star broke down in tears as he spoke about his mother Jacobeth on Loose Women on Thursday, who he said is ‘alone.’
Johannes cried as he delved into the backstory of his autobiography which covers the experiences and challenges he faced as he grew up in Zamdela, South Africa with a passion for dance.
Reflecting on his childhood, the Latin champion said: ‘It’s so far from the life that I am living now, I can look after my family, my mother is comfortable.
‘I was bullied for being a bit happy and flamboyant. Dance was my refuge. I hated school but I am so grateful for my teacher for calling people out.
Of his sexuality, he said: ‘It was frowned upon, even by some of my family members, but now I am in a fortunate position where it is accepted.
‘As I was writing the book I sat down and she had been interviewed and I asked her questions like, “Why did you make that decision? Why did you stay that long in a marriage that didn’t serve you?”
Johannes choked up as he said: ‘It’s only recently where I have made peace with what has happened with the past.
‘Because I had an opportunity to hear my mum’s side of the story.’
Emotional: It comes after the star broke down in tears as he spoke about his mother Jacobeth on Loose Women on Thursday, who he said is ‘alone.
Family: The professional dancer appeared on the show to talk about his new book Jojo: Finally Home and his close relationship with his mother
Panellist Katie Piper asked: ‘Was it hard to talk to your mum about it, about that?’
Getting emotional Johannes replied: ‘It was. It was. And I dedicated the book to my mother because I want to applaud her love.
‘Great things have happened in my life but my family is never there to enjoy it with me, my mother is alone and that is the reality, but I am so happy and I am proud of her.’
Earlier this year, Johannes spoke about his ‘horrid’ time at school in South Africa where he endured homophobic physical and verbal abuse.
The dancer has been open about his sexuality during his time on the hit BBC competition and was chosen for Strictly’s first same-sex couple alongside baker John Whaite in 2021.
But growing up in the township of Zamdela, near Johannesburg, Johannes said he had to ‘duck and dive’ from the bullies who would call him a ‘sissy boy’ and ‘punch’ him ‘many times’.
Heartbreaking: Johannes endured homophobic physical and verbal abuse while he was growing up
Tearing up: ‘It was frowned upon, even by some of my family members, but now I am in a fortunate position where it is accepted’, Johannes said
Speaking to The Guardian about his latest solo venture, a tour called Freedom Unleashed, Johannes explained that despite the bad times he was still ‘covered with love’ from his mother.
He said: ‘I had to duck and dive. School was horrid. They [the bullies] used to say to me, “Oh, sissy boy!”‘
The dancer added that if he got far away enough, he would hit them back with a sassy reply: ‘But if I was close by I would have been punched, which I was many times.’
Johannes also added that he still has friends living in his native South Africa who still endure homophobic abuse and that he is happy to be living in the UK.
‘You guys have a long way to go still, but people make space for one another to coexist,’ he added.
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