Dennis Waterman admits hitting ex-wife
Dennis Waterman has admitted hitting his ex-wife Rula Lenska and giving her a black eye while they were married, but he insists she wasn't a "beaten wife"
Dennis Waterman has admitted previously hitting his ex-wife Rula Lenska.
The 64-year-old actor has confessed he punched and slapped the former 'Coronation Street' actress - who divorced him in 1998 and claimed he was a drunken wife-beater, an allegation he has always denied - on two separate occasions during their 11 year marriage, but he insists she wasn't a "beaten wife".
He explained: "She certainly wasn't a beaten wife, she was hit and that's different.
"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.
"Something must have brought it on. When frustration builds up and you can't think of a way out ... It happened and I'm very, very ashamed of it."
The 'Minder' star - whose daughter Hannah Waterman previously starred in 'EastEnders' - is "very ashamed" of his actions, which once saw him give the 64-year-old actress a black eye.
Speaking on an upcoming episode of 'Piers Morgan's Life Stories' - which is due to be aired on ITV next month - he explained: "We were going through a horrible time and arguing a lot.
"I must have punched her one time because she did have a black eye. Afterwards, I felt utterly ashamed.
"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."
At the time of their separation, Rula - who has one daughter, Lara Parker, with her first husband Brian Deacon - said the pair's relationship was a "violent, abusive pattern" and she was left in tears on the last occasion he was "abusive".
She said: "There were times when he hit me. I became the object of his hate.
"It got so bad that he became abusive to me and my daughter, and the last time it happened I had to run out of the house in tears."