Dennis Waterman has revealed that he hit his ex-wife Rula Lenska, once leaving her with a black eye.
The 'New Tricks' star had previously been accused by Lenska of domestic abuse during their marriage, which ended in 1998, but has only now come clean about it.
“She certainly wasn’t a beaten wife, she was hit and that’s different,” he said. “It’s not difficult for a woman to make a man hit her.
“We were going through a horrible time and arguing a lot. The problem with strong, intelligent women is that they can argue, well. And if there is a time where you can’t get a word in... and I... I lashed out. I couldn’t end the argument. It happened and I’m very, very ashamed of it.
“I’d never done it before or since. But if a woman is a bit of a power freak and determined to put you down, and if you’re not bright enough to do it with words, it can happen. And it did happen in my case.”
His remarks, made during an interview with Piers Morgan, have enraged domestic abuse campaigners.
Sandra Horley, of UK charity Refuge, said: “I am appalled by Dennis Waterman’s comments about his violence towards Rula Lenska, which trivialise the abuse he inflicted on her.
“No one can make their partner hit them. However angry or frustrated Dennis felt, he could have chosen to deal with those feelings another way but he chose violence. He alone is responsible for his behaviour.”
The interview airs on ITV next month.
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