Justin Lee Collins: Comedian tells police I only hit girlfriend to calm her down
COMEDIAN and television presenter Justin Lee Collins admitted slapping his ex-girlfriend but said he had only done it to calm her down.
The 38-year-old is accused of harassing his ex-girlfriend, Anna Larke, during their nine-month relationship.
Today police interviews the star gave after his arrest were read to the jury at St Albans Crown Court.
In them 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 has claimed Collins attacked her in their 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.
''A man came to the hotel room to ask if everything was all right.''
Collins, who shot to fame with The Friday Night Project, denies harassing Ms Larke, a former video games public relations worker.
Collins, of Kew, south west London, denies a single charge of harassment by causing Ms Larke fear of violence.
She alleges Collins beat her, made her write a grubby dossier of her entire sexual history and then branded her a "slag" who was "riddled with STDs".
She also claims the 38-year-old, who she met while he was still married to ex-wife Karen, tried to push her in front of a cab on a night out with fellow comedian Alan Carr and hit her pet cat.
The case at St Albans Crown Court continues.