Strictly's James Cracknell denies cheating on his ex-wife Beverley Turner and reveals they had therapy in a bid to save their marriage... as he gushes about new girlfriend

  • The Olympic gold medal-winning rower, 47, hit back at 'accusations' after he sparked up a romance with American financier Jordan Connell
  • He said: 'No-one cheated, it's just that it was not a good atmosphere for the kids'  
  • The star also gushed about his blossoming new romance with 'amazing' Jordan, who is in her early 30s, and revealed he feels lucky to have met her 
  • James and Beverley, 45, announced in March that they had decided to split last year after 17 years of marriage - they share three children
  • Candidly discussing the breakdown of the marriage, James said the pair had 'tried everything' - including therapy- to save their union 

James Cracknell has denied cheating ended his 17-year marriage to ex-wife Beverley Turner in a new interview with The Times.

The Olympic gold medal-winning rower, 47, whose divorce was granted  in July, hit back at 'accusations' after he sparked up a romance with American financier Jordan Connell whom he met while studying philosophy at Cambridge University.

Beverley, 45, previously claimed he 'abandoned' his family and called his decision to take part in the Cambridge Boat Race aged 46 as a 'dereliction of parenting and marital duty'.

Happier times: James Cracknell has denied cheating ended his 17-year marriage to ex-wife Beverley Turner in a new interview with The Times  (pictured 2016)

Happier times: James Cracknell has denied cheating ended his 17-year marriage to ex-wife Beverley Turner in a new interview with The Times  (pictured 2016)

New love: The Olympic gold medal-winning rower, 47, hit back at 'accusations' after he sparked up a romance with American financier Jordan Connell whom he met while studying philosophy at Cambridge University

New love: The Olympic gold medal-winning rower, 47, hit back at 'accusations' after he sparked up a romance with American financier Jordan Connell whom he met while studying philosophy at Cambridge University

He said: 'No-one cheated, it's just that it was not a good atmosphere for the kids. We could have carried on living almost separate lives but what is that relationship teaching the children?'   

Beverley and James announced in March that they had decided to split last year after 17 years of marriage, from which they share son Croyde, 15 and two daughters, Kili, 10, and eight-year-old Trixie.  

Admitting he had become 'lost in his own world' before his marriage imploded, the star also gushed about his blossoming new romance with 'amazing' Jordan, who is in her early 30s, and said he feels lucky to have met her.

Jordan and James met during her 12 month stint studying for an MBA at the prestigious university before returning to her native city of New York. She is now understood to split her time between London and the US. 

Over: Beverley, 45, previously claimed he 'abandoned' his family and called his decision to take part in the Cambridge Boat Race aged 46 a 'dereliction of parenting and marital duty' (pictured 2015)

Over: Beverley, 45, previously claimed he 'abandoned' his family and called his decision to take part in the Cambridge Boat Race aged 46 a 'dereliction of parenting and marital duty' (pictured 2015)

PDA: Admitting he had become 'lost in his own world' before his marriage imploded, the star also gushed about his blossoming new romance with 'amazing' Jordan, who is in her early 30s, and said he feels lucky to have met her

PDA: Admitting he had become 'lost in his own world' before his marriage imploded, the star also gushed about his blossoming new romance with 'amazing' Jordan, who is in her early 30s, and said he feels lucky to have met her

The Strictly Come Dancing star said he is focusing on his three children, with Jordan completing her work in the United States, and said: 'I'm really hopeful that it will all coincide but there's accusations, it's like Bev saying "you missed the family responsibilities to go to Cambridge".

'I have explained that probably wasn't the case but if I pursued a romantic relationship ahead of making sure that Bev and I and the kids are OK that would be remiss.'

Candidly discussing the breakdown of the marriage, James said the pair had 'tried everything' - including therapy- to save their union but that he had realised 'too late' that their problems were terminal.    

The Olympian has previously admitted his efforts to compete in the boat race, which saw him leave the family home in London for a student flat in Cambridge, were a 'selfish pursuit' 

Doomed: Candidly discussing the breakdown of the marriage, James said the pair had 'tried everything' - including therapy- to save their union but that he had realised 'too late' that their problems were terminal (pictured 2018)

Doomed: Candidly discussing the breakdown of the marriage, James said the pair had 'tried everything' - including therapy- to save their union but that he had realised 'too late' that their problems were terminal (pictured 2018)

Commenting on Beverley's remarks that he abandoned his family, the star said 'deep down' his ex wife knew it was a good thing for him to do, to improve his confidence.

James' time at Cambridge was quickly consumed by practice and lectures, with the star visiting his family every other weekend.

When he broke a rib rowing, he ended up staying in Cambridge over the weekends, leaving Beverley at home with their three children in Chiswick, west London. 

He admitted his 'opinionated, fiery' ex was left 'very upset' by this, but due to her work commitments on Saturday, the family couldn't all come and stay for the weekend.   

In her April interview Beverley also said James had never been the same since suffering a brain injury when hit by a truck in the US nine years ago while cycling in Arizona - a subject also discussed in her 2012 book Touching Distance.

Candid: In her April interview Beverley also said James had never been the same since suffering a brain injury when hit by a truck in the US nine years ago while cycling in Arizona - a subject also discussed in her 2012 book Touching Distance  (Pictured in 2010)

Candid: In her April interview Beverley also said James had never been the same since suffering a brain injury when hit by a truck in the US nine years ago while cycling in Arizona - a subject also discussed in her 2012 book Touching Distance  (Pictured in 2010)

He fractured his skull, causing a brain injury and epilepsy which both remain with him. His personality was also dramatically altered, affecting his temperament, memory and concentration. 

The sportsman said he didn't know how his wife 'put up with him' but that he wasn't out gambling or drinking but 'lost in his own world.'  

In July, James and Beverley were granted a divorce after she petitioned for it on the grounds of unreasonable behaviour, which he did not oppose. 

The pair, however, have ensured their split has remained amicable for the sake of their three children.  

Harrowing: He fractured his skull, causing a brain injury and epilepsy which both remain with him. His personality was also dramatically altered, affecting his temperament, memory and concentration

Harrowing: He fractured his skull, causing a brain injury and epilepsy which both remain with him. His personality was also dramatically altered, affecting his temperament, memory and concentration

The interview comes as James revealed he fears fatigue will cause him to have an epileptic fit on the dance floor. 

Speaking candidly to The Sun on Sunday, the star said he was worried for his life when he goes out on the ballroom next.

The athlete has already been taking part in a gruelling ten-hour rehearsals as well as performing on the day itself, and he said of his concerns: 'Some people get epilepsy from strobe lighting but not me.

'I don't want to worry Luba [Musktuk] but mine is set off by fatigue. When I've had a seizure it's been because of not sleeping.

'Epilepsy comes with a bit of a stigma. One of the drawbacks is that it's a hidden disability.'

James went on to say that he's keen to use his influence as a public figure to change people's views on the condition, as he said he was keen to 'get other people to understand it.'

Concern: The interview comes as James revealed he fears fatigue will cause him to have an epileptic fit on the dance floor

Concern: The interview comes as James revealed he fears fatigue will cause him to have an epileptic fit on the dance floor

This comes after James appeared to wipe away tears after his debut performance was slammed by the judges on Saturday.

The Olympic rower took to the dance floor with pro Luba to perform a Tango to Gold by Spandau Ballet, but was branded 'lethargic' by Craig Revel-Horwood.

Many viewers took to social media to slam the judge's scoring, with several claiming that Lioness Alex Scott should have earned more points.  

Hard times: This comes after he appeared to wipe away tears after his debut performance was slammed by the judges on Saturday

Hard times: This comes after he appeared to wipe away tears after his debut performance was slammed by the judges on Saturday

Following his first dance, James appeared downcast as he left the dance floor with Luba, and host Claudia Winkleman asked if he was alright.

The sporting champion was silent at first, with Luba saying: 'He did such a brilliant job. I'm really, really proud.'

Speaking about his proud parents who were watching on in the audience, James said: 'The first thing my dad said to me after I was lucky enough to win the Olympics was "can you get a proper job now?"'

Passionate: James took to the dance floor with pro Luba to perform a Tango to Gold by Spandau Ballet

Passionate: James took to the dance floor with pro Luba to perform a Tango to Gold by Spandau Ballet 

Embattled: The Olympic rower appeared to be emotional as he left the dance floor, after his moves were branded 'lethargic'

Embattled: The Olympic rower appeared to be emotional as he left the dance floor, after his moves were branded 'lethargic'

STRICTLY WEEK ONE LEADERBOARD

Kelvin Fletcher and Oti Mabuse: Samba to La Vida Es Un Carnaval by Celia Cruz - 32 points out of 40 

Karim Zeroual and Amy Dowden: Cha Cha Cha to If I Can't Have You by Shawn Mendes - 31 points out of 40 

Michelle Visage and Giovanni Pernice: So Emotional by Whitney Houston - 30 points out of 40 

Dev Griffin and Dianne Buswell: Foxtrot to Build Me Up Buttercup by The Foundations - 30 points out of 40 

Saffron Barker and AJ Pritchard: Tango to Lips Are Moving by Meghan Trainor - 27 points out of 40 

Will Bayley and Janette Manrara: Quickstep to Pencil Full of Lead by Paolo Nutini - 26 points out of 40

Emma Barton and Anton Du Beke: Jive to Honey Honey by ABBA - 23 points out of 40

Mike Bushell and Katya Jones: Jive to Do You Love Me by The Contours - 22 points out of 40

Alex Scott and Neil Jones: Quickstep to I Get a Kick Out of You by Frank Sinatra - 21 points out of 40 

Catherine Tyldesley and Johannes Radebe: Viennese Waltz to I Got You Babe by Sonny and Cher - 20 points out of 40 

Emma Weymouth and Aljaž Škorjanec: She's a Lady by Tom Jones - 19 points out of 40 

David James and Nadiya Bychkova: Foxtrot to Three Lions by Baddiel, Skinner and Lightning Seeds - 17 points out of 40 

Anneka Rice and Kevin Clifton: Cha Cha Cha to Gloria by Laura Branigan - 14 points out of 40 

Chris Ramsey and Karen Hauer: Cha Cha Cha to Juice by Lizzo - 13 points out of 40

James Cracknell and Luba Mushtuk: Tango to Gold by Spandau Ballet - 11 points out of 40 

His performance earned a mixed reception from the panel, with Craig only offering a score of two points.

He added; 'Your posture posture is your main concern in this dance. You were hunched over Luba sadly. On top of that your bottom was sticking way out. You need to tuck that baby under.

'It lacked drive, you need to put a much energy as you do into rowing into your body.'

Struggling: Following his first dance, James appeared to be downcast as he exited the dancefloor with Luba, and host Claudia Winkleman asked if he was alright

Struggling: Following his first dance, James appeared to be downcast as he exited the dancefloor with Luba, and host Claudia Winkleman asked if he was alright

Supportive: The sporting champion was silent at first, with Luba saying: 'He did such a brilliant job. I'm really, really proud'

Supportive: The sporting champion was silent at first, with Luba saying: 'He did such a brilliant job. I'm really, really proud'

Struggling: His performance earned a mixed reception from the panel, with Craig only offering a score of two points. They earned a total of 11 points out of 40

Struggling: His performance earned a mixed reception from the panel, with Craig only offering a score of two points. They earned a total of 11 points out of 40

Motsi Mabuse offered some optimism by saying that 'athletes never give up' and was adamant he would come back stronger the following week.

Bruno added: 'At times it looked like you were concentrating so hard on getting it right you were dancing on your own. Next time perform it. Deep breath, come out and wow us.' 

Regardless James scored just 11 points out of 40 and finished bottom of the leaderboard.

James joined the 14 other celebrities who made their long-awaited debut on the dancefloor.

Upset: But many viewers were unhappy with the scoring throughout the show - and Alex Scott and particular - and took to Twitter to share their views

Upset: But many viewers were unhappy with the scoring throughout the show - and Alex Scott and particular - and took to Twitter to share their views

But many viewers were unhappy with the scoring throughout the show and took to Twitter to share their views.  

One wrote: 'These judges are already winding me up!' while another added: 'I think it was absolutely brilliant for a first episode of the series but the scoring was a bit all over the place for me.'

A third also tweeted: 'This is the first time ever I'm committing to a full series of #Strictly and I'm a) amazing by the details the judges notice and b) baffled by some of their scoring. At least standards and expertise are still key.' 

A fourth also tweeted: 'I thought @ChrisRamsety did really well! Judges comments disappointed me... and we're back!' 

The first live show saw all 15 celebrities perform a debut dance that was scored by the judges, but the public vote will not open until next week. 

Back soon: Strictly Come Dancing continues on Saturday 28th September on ITV

Back soon: Strictly Come Dancing continues on Saturday 28th September on ITV

Strictly's James Cracknell denies cheating on his ex-wife Beverley Turner

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