Viscountess Emma Weymouth, 33, took to Twitter this afternoon in the wake of controversy surrounding her place on Strictly Come Dancing 2019. In the post, the socialite and model kept the focus on her upcoming Halloween Week performance. She shared a GIF of herself and Aljaž Škorjanec, 29, showing off some energetic moves while rehearsing the Charleston at Elstree Studios in view of her 3,195 followers. “So looking forward to sharing the Charleston with you tonight #KeepDancing,” Emma captioned the tweet.
The star’s position in the dance competition was called into question yesterday when reports emerged about an employee at Longleat offering to pay staff back if they voted for her.
A screenshot of a Facebook post shared by Darren Beasley, who is the head of animal operations at the safari park, and obtained by The Sun, told staff the cost of their phone calls would be reimbursed if they voted for the model.
The post, which was sent to 109 people, read: “So news just in… If anyone wants to help keep Lady Emma in Strictly then I’m authorised to get [marketing director] James Bailey to pay for your call.
“So keep your phone bills as proof, tell your partners, mums, dads, cousins, granny and the dog if he can dial that number for Lady Emma & Aliaz, phoning this week will be free because Longleat will pay (sic).
“Let’s keep them in for another week x. Happy voting.”
In light of the post, a spokesperson for Longleat claimed “no one acted on the message” and insisted it had “no effect” on the votes.
They told the publication: “It was not our policy or practice to reimburse people for votes.
“No one sought payment from Longleat or any team member, so no one acted on the message and it had no effect on the actual votes.”
According to The Telegraph, the Longleat staff member who shared the post has since apologised and is said to be “devastated”.
The publication has also revealed the Viscountess is “completely devastated” by the scandal and her and her husband Ceawlin Thynn, Viscount Weymouth, 45, were “unaware” it was taking place.
A representative for Strictly also explained to the publication: “The BBC takes fairness in Strictly Come Dancing extremely seriously.
“Action was taken as soon as this issue was brought to BBC Studios’ attention. This has had no impact on the public vote.”
Express.co.uk has contacted Emma’s representative for comment.
Emma’s social media return comes after she opened up about her emotional reaction to facing former Strictly favourites Dev Griffin, 34, and Dianne Buswell, 30, in a shock dance-off on the programme.
Speaking about the experience in her latest column for The Telegraph, the Viscountess said: “I was struck numb with dread and my heart sunk when we heard that Dev Griffin was our dance-off opponent.”
She added: “Once the four judges unanimously saved us I felt bittersweet relief and sadness to be losing Dev.”
However, in spite of her relief to be able to dance in week five, Emma revealed she was “actually on the verge of a nervous breakdown” when it was announced she was in the bottom two.
She explained: “My children watched on Saturday and innocently asked if I danced twice because everyone loved it and wanted to see it again.
“They had no idea that I was actually on the verge of a nervous breakdown in front of 8.5 million viewers.”
Strictly Come Dancing continues tonight at 6.35pm on BBC One.