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Rula Lenska: I’m relieved the truth is out about Dennis Waterman beating claims


Dennis Waterman and Rula Lenska divorced in 1998

Dennis Waterman and Rula Lenska divorced in 1998

Dennis Waterman and Rula Lenska divorced in 1998

RULA Lenska has spoken of her relief after her ex-husband, actor Dennis Waterman, admitted punching her and claimed "it’s not difficult for a woman to make a man hit her".

Lenska, 64, divorced Waterman, also 64, in 1998 claiming he was a drunken wife-beater, an allegation he has always denied.

However, Waterman has now confessed that he slapped and punched the Polish-born actress on two occasions.

Miss Lenska, a former Coronation Street actress, reportedly told friends she was relieved at the admissions.

"I've spent years being branded a liar because some people thought I had made it up. I now finally feel vindicated," she said, according to the Daily Mirror.

Her agent, Paul Pearson said: "To suggest it’s OK to hit a woman just because she’s fiercely intelligent is shocking and wrong.”

He said the actress was "struggling" to take in Waterman's admissions in an interview with Piers Morgan.

“She’s pleased that Dennis has finally admitted what he did, but at the same time it’s all very upsetting. Rula has spent years living with this, while a huge number of people within the industry did not believe her, and she’s had to face that," he added.

A friend of Miss Lenska's, the actress Denise Welch also spoke about the revelations on the ITV show Loose Women.

She said: "“All that she wants to say is that she is glad that he’s eventually admitted it because, several years ago, when the marriage broke up and she first came out and made these allegations, she has since then been perceived as a liar by many quarters – some in the press and some from other people. So she is relieved he's eventually said it."

Waterman said he felt “utterly ashamed” of his actions and that on one occasion he left her with a black eye after a drunken dispute.

Despite the admission, the actor, famous for playing ex-boxer Terry McCann in the ITV drama Minder, insisted: “She certainly wasn’t a beaten wife, she was hit and that’s different.”

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His comments provoked criticism from domestic violence charities.

Sandra Horley, Chief executive of 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.

“It doesn’t matter whether he hit her once, twice or a dozen times – no man is entitled to hit his wife.”

At the time of their separation, Lenska, who starred in Coronation Street, said their relationship became a “violent, abusive pattern”.

“There were times when he hit me. I became the object of his hate,” she said.

"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.”

Waterman, who was being interviewed for Morgan’s chat show Life Stories, tried to defend his actions, saying: “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.

“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.”

Describing the events, he admitted he might have “drunk too much” to remember details, and said: “I must have punched her one time ’cause she did have a black eye. Afterwards, I felt utterly ashamed.”

Waterman, the son of an amateur boxer, added: “I’d never done it before or since. But if a woman is 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.”

Waterman said he had found “proper happiness” after marrying his long-term partner Pam Flint, his fourth wife, last year.

He also revealed that he lost his virginity aged 14 or 15 to a teacher at his school.

The full interview can be seen on Piers Morgan’s Life Stories which airs next month on ITV.

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