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Oti Mabuse apologises after missing charity event after niece’s death

Oti Mabuse during the filming for the Graham Norton Show (Isabel Infantes/PA)
Oti Mabuse during the filming for the Graham Norton Show (Isabel Infantes/PA)

Oti Mabuse dropped out of a charity event after announcing the death of her niece.

The Dancing On Ice judge, 31, was due to appear at a fundraiser for people in Ukraine, organised by her dance studio and the Hospices of Hope charity, on Saturday night.

The former Strictly Come Dancing professional announced the death of her niece Tlhogi, 28, on Saturday morning, saying she felt “shattered inside”.

She wrote on Instagram: “The things that happen in life can’t be controlled.

“Tonight @otimabusedancestudio and hospice of hope charity are hosting an event and the proceeds are going to help people and children in Ukraine!

“It’s been a long journey to get to this point and such a shame I can’t attend for this I send my sincerest apologies.

“I wish you still all a lovely evening you are definitely in good hands and please know that all your donations will be helping plenty in this sad time of need.”

Held at the Romanian Cultural Institute in London, the event was attended by Mabuse’s husband Marius Iepure.

Mabuse said she is “unbelievably proud (of) and equally grateful” to the dancers, organisers and clients for taking part.

“As dancers, there’s very little we can do but use our power of dance to raise awareness,” she said.

“And Night Of The Stars was our way of saying, ‘There is our way to helping those in need right now.’”

Mabuse spent seven years as a professional dancer on BBC One’s Strictly, winning the glitterball trophy twice – with Kelvin Fletcher in 2019 and Bill Bailey in 2020.

She announced her departure earlier this year and joined ITV’s Dancing On Ice, replacing John Barrowman on the judging panel.

Her older sister, Motsi, is a judge on Strictly.

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