Justin Lee Collins trial: ‘I only slapped former lover to stop her self-harming’
COMEDIAN and television presenter Justin Lee Collins has never hit anyone in anger in his life, he told his trial for domestic and emotional abuse yesterday.
• Justin Lee Collins refutes claims of domestic violence
• Comedian says ex-girlfriend Anna Larke was possessive
• Sexual dossier ‘was her idea’ - Collins
The 38-year-old is accused of slapping and harassing his ex-girlfriend, Anna Larke, during their nine-month relationship.
Police interviews the star gave after his arrest were read to the jury at St Albans Crown Court yesterday. 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 kill herself. 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 said he spent £25,000 on Ms Larke during their relationship, “a ridiculous amount of money”.
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 in Collins’s police interview, he had 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 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, Collins said, and ended their relationship in autumn 2008. But the couple
resumed their affair at the end of 2010 after his marriage finally broke down.
The pair moved in together in January last year in a rented property in Kew, south-west London, but problems quickly developed between them. In July last year, they had a row at a pub which continued at home, which Ms Larke recorded. In it, Collins calls her a “dirty vile slag” and a “f****** sex addict”.
In the witness box, Collins told the court the pair usually met once a month to spend time together, but not have full sex as “that was something I would only do with my wife”.
The trial continues.
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Saturday 18 May 2013
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