STRICTLY Come Dancing judge Motsi Mabuse has been threatened with prison by her ex-husband if she does not retract her claims he controlled her.
The BBC star is being sued for £70,000 by Timo Kulczak after he accused him in her autobiography of restricting her access to cash and even deciding what she ate.
Motsi, 42, has now refused to settle the lawsuit – meaning the case will end up in court.
In a bitter twist, Timo’s lawyers have also asked a court to jail the dance legend for up to six months or pay her a £250,000 fine if she ever repeats the claims in her book.
The measure was introduced as part of a “cease and desist” clause in the lawsuit.
Timo’s lawyer Samy Hammad said: “Ms Mabuse refuses to pay and therefore the court must now decide.
“We just want her to retract the falsehoods published about him and compensate him accordingly.
“My client’s reputation has been repeatedly damaged.
“You have to threaten punishment and say if you do it again, that’s what I want in terms of money or in terms of prison time.”
Motsi claims in Finding My Own Rhythm: My Story that 45-year-old Timo paid her a subsidy from her dance lessons and television earnings during their 11-year marriage.
She also says he denied her requests to have a child and controlled her diet – allegations he denies.
According to the letter, Motsi must stop “insinuating that the plaintiff caused suffering to the defendant during their marriage.”
It also demands that she publicly declare that “the statements published in the book and press reports quoted are untrue.”
The lawsuit was filed at the Offenburg Regional Court in Germany.
Sources said Motsi, as a German citizen, could not ignore this.
She will be given a deadline to respond or a default judgment could be entered.
If there is a hearing, Motsi or her lawyer would have to appear.
Motsi and Timo, who met at a dance competition, married in 2003.
They divorced in 2014.
Motsi moved to Germany from her native South Africa at the age of 18 to be with him.
In 2017 she married her new dance partner Evgenij Vozynuk.
The couple has a daughter and runs a dance school together near Frankfurt.
Motsi, sister of Double Strictly winner Oti Mabuse, 33, was a participant and judge on Let’s Dance in Germany.
She joined the Strictly judging panel in 2019, replacing retired ballerina Darcey Bussell, 54.
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This evening a spokesman for Motsi said there was “no legal basis” for Timo’s lawsuit.
They added: “It is untrue that our client is facing prison time in connection with her ex-husband’s civil action, or that a fine, which would only be payable if our client culpably violates a court order, is more than a nominal amount would amount to.”