Dancer Damian Whitewood, who partnered with Russell Crowe's wife, Danielle Spencer, on the Australian version of "Dancing With the Stars," has denied he is the reason for the reported breakup of the movie star's marriage.

In an interview on the Australian TV program "Today Tonight," Whitewood said he was "definitely not the other man, as it's being painted out there. . . . There's no truth to the matter whatsoever. We're great friends; it was a professional dancing partnership."

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Whitewood said he was "devastated" at news that "Gladiator" Oscar-winner Crowe, 48, and actress and singer-songwriter Spencer, 43, were separating. "I've had contact with both of them, so I heard it through her, and yeah it was a bit of a shock. I didn't expect it so I'm taken aback." Whitewood said. "As a friend would do, absolutely, [I] reached out to make sure she's OK. . . . Obviously, this is not what you want to [have] happening."

Responding to being shown a photo of himself and Spencer hugging next to a cab, Whitewood said, "It's a photo that says I had my arm around her. I had my arm around her every day when I danced with her. I was probably in worse situations in front of millions of viewers." There was, he said, "nothing romantic whatsoever."

He also shot down speculation that the photo suggested he had spent the night at her home. "She lives in Sydney; those photos were taken in Melbourne. So that's false straightaway, and staying the night with her, that's another false accusation."

He also noted the same sort of speculation arose when he was paired with Pamela Anderson on the U.S. version of the show.