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'I only slapped her to calm her down' accused: Justin Lee Collins

COMEDIAN and television presenter Justin Lee Collins said in his trial for domsetic and emotional abuse that he has never hit anyone in his life.

The 38-year-old is accused of slapping and harassing ex-girlfriend Anna Larke during their nine-month relationship.

In police interviews read to the jury at St Albans Crown Court, Collins told officers that Ms Larke, a recovering alcoholic, was possessive of him and believed he was going to go off with other women.

Ms Larke (pictured) claimed Collins attacked her in a Miami hotel room in March 2011.

Collins said he had only ever slapped Ms Larke to calm her down when she was self-harming, which he claimed she did, once gouging her wrists and threatening to commit suicide.

Saying "she had a screaming fit" during a relapse in the hotel room, he said: "She would have episodes and I would try to calm her down.

"She was saying, 'You are going to hit me, you are going to hit me', and I was saying 'What are you talking about?'

"I have never hit anyone in my life. I don't know where what she was saying comes from."

Collins, who shot to fame with The Friday Night Project, denies harassing Ms Larke, a former video games public relations worker.

Rescuer

He told the nine women and three men of the jury that he was described as her "rescuer" by someone who attended Ms Larke's Alcoholics Anonymous meetings because he wanted to help her so much.

The prosecution has alleged that Collins, who met Ms Larke and began an extra-marital affair with her in 2006, made her write down every sexual experience she had ever had.

But Collins said it was her idea as she had a "chequered colourful history" with sex and drugs and she "wanted to offload".

Describing her as "a very sexual creature", the comedian said he did not want to write down the sex details, which were meant to be burned after completion.

"I sat there with her but it was her idea," he said, describing it as, "as graphic as it comes".

"Her way of therapy in some way, her decision."

Collins said he did not care if Ms Larke had slept with thousands of people, but he was interested to know what she had done because he was worried for his health.

She allegedly had unprotected sex with a man on a train and "arranged to meet people on the net for sex in hotels", Collins said.

The long-haired star betrayed his wife with Ms Larke after they met at a corporate event.

The pair continued their affair, but did not have sex, the defendant said

They ended their affair in autumn 2008.

But the couple resumed their relationship at the end of 2010 after the defendant's marriage finally broke down.

The trial continues.

hnews@herald.ie


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