EXC ‘Strictly Come Dancing destroyed my marriage’: Karen Hauer’s estranged husband Jordan Wyn-Jones tells how their relationship crumbled just 16 months after their wedding day when the dance pro waltzed off to rehearsals and left him at home
After talking about having children, they moved from Karen’s home in Wimbledon, south-west London, to the north of England, where they settled in the countryside with their four dogs.
But instead of fun evenings at home, Jordan says their relationship became a series of video and phone calls while his wife, an American-Venezuelan ballroom champion, traveled around the country.
There’s no doubt that being a woman is strictly professional, making decisions about having a baby much more difficult than for most other women. It goes without saying that it is impossible to participate in the show while pregnant.
But as Karen approaches her 40s, Jordan, 34, wants to set his sights on becoming a father.
Their marriage had been on the rocks for a year after what Karen had described at the time as a ‘fairytale wedding’, which Hello magazine wrote about
Jordan says their relationship became a series of video and phone conversations with his wife. Jordan Wyn-Jones and Karen Hauer
Jordan remembers how he ‘froze’ in the flashes of the paparazzi on the red carpet when he and Karen went to the opening night of Cirque du Soleil at the Royal Albert Hall. Karen and Jordan on the Cirque du Soleil red carpet
However, when a friend informed him of a magazine interview in which his wife said she didn’t know if she wanted children, he knew his dream was unlikely to become a reality.
“Karen is dedicated to her career, which she has worked very hard for,” Jordan said. “She’s amazing and I admire her for that. That’s one of the reasons I wanted to marry her – because of how powerful she is.
‘But we wanted different things. There was a plan to have children, but there was no plan.
“When we first met, we discussed it. You say things like: ‘I want to have children’. And she had told me that she would like to have children with me. But in the interview, Karen said, “Children are not the future” – which made me sad. I’ve always wanted to be a father.
‘I wouldn’t say it was a shock, but I knew subconsciously in the back of my mind…why would she want to have a child with me?
‘I had become vacant in our relationship. I was loving and caring towards her, but I was vacant because of the situation we were in.”
When the couple met eight weeks ago to discuss the magazine interview, Jordan burst into tears as she admitted their marriage was over.
Jordan says, “There were tears on both sides. Lots of tears and sadness. We didn’t want to let go of each other, but we weren’t right for each other either.
‘If we had stayed together and not had a family, I feel like I would have hated her. This is the perfect time for us to love and leave each other.”
Their marriage had been on the rocks for a year after what Karen had described at the time as a ‘fairytale’ wedding at the Chewton Glen Country House Hotel in the New Forest, which was reported in Hello magazine.
Jordan says, “Karen has a lot of work and she is career driven. That’s okay, but I need a different kind of support in a partner. “I’m not saying she didn’t support me because she did, but she just wasn’t there.”
Karen Hauer and Eddie Kadi, during their Saturday live show performance for BBC1’s Strictly Come Dancing in October 2023
Although Jordan was Karen’s third husband – she was previously married to two dance partners, Matthew Hauer and Kevin Clifton, and then to opera singer David Webb – Kevin had only been married once before.
He says his relationship with Karen blossomed before they even met in real life. Jordan, originally from Brighton, was living in Sydney when he started following Karen on Instagram. She followed him back and they started exchanging messages before speaking regularly on FaceTime.
Perhaps, in retrospect, this unorthodox dating method was an indication that life as a strict professional doesn’t make it easy to find love the traditional way. But after living Down Under for 20 years, Jordan had little idea of the show’s significance and asked Karen to send video clips of her dancing.
He remembers: ‘I thought she was beautiful. I didn’t know what Strictly was! She was so reserved, humble and modest about how brilliant she was. I loved that about her.”
They communicated online for about six months and then Karen asked if he wanted to move to London to spend their lives together.
Jordan immediately booked flights and flew back to Britain for the first time in his adult life.
“We hadn’t even met yet,” he grins. ‘Imagine how scared I was on the plane. I had never kissed her before. It was really beautiful.’ On the way to her house from the airport, he bought some flowers. “I remember them being yellow,” he says. ‘When I think of Karen, I see yellow. She’s just so bright. I knocked on the door and we kissed immediately. We were together.
“I never had a backup plan. I just moved in with her and her dogs and started building a life. I had a whole life in Australia that I left behind to be with Karen.”
When the couple met eight weeks ago to discuss the magazine interview, Jordan burst into tears as she admitted their marriage was over
Suddenly he was immersed in the world of Strictly – and found the celebrity lifestyle overwhelming. Jordan remembers how he ‘froze’ in the flashes of the paparazzi on the red carpet when he and Karen went to the opening night of Cirque du Soleil at the Royal Albert Hall.
He said it was intimidating meeting other Strictly dancers and witnessing the rigmarole of the show being filmed in Elstree, Hertfordshire, and the touring show. That said, he doesn’t blame the Strictly Curse and has no regrets about his marriage to Karen – who last night refused to comment on their split.
“We used to laugh at Strictly Curse because it’s so silly,” Jordan said. ‘Karen doesn’t have it in her to be unfaithful and dishonest, she’s just not that person. I just trusted her. It was never a thing in our relationship because when I met her, I knew who she was.
‘She doesn’t throw herself at people. She has respect for herself, respect for her career, her colleagues, her job, the BBC.
“She takes great pride in being the show’s longest-serving professional. She’s worked really hard and she’s so good, she’s such a professional.”
But there was a price to be paid.
‘When it was just us together, there was never a front. I just knew Karen. I had never known her as a celebrity. I knew her as my Karen. I always called her ‘My little Jones’, and she still is to me. I’m sad to lose that person and I think she feels the same.
‘I see it as a love story. We remain friends. We haven’t filed for divorce yet, but there is nothing to fight or worry about. We still text and it’s all well and good.
‘But we hurt each other. I want a family and she doesn’t have one yet in her life. It’s a real shame. When we talk, we still say, “I love you.” We’re just not right for each other.’