'I feared Barrymore would kill me'

THE former wife of troubled television entertainer Michael Barrymore has claimed she was placed on an ‘at risk’ register by police because they feared he might kill her.

Cheryl Barrymore alleges in a new book that her former husband once flung her against a door at a Los Angeles hotel and kicked and punched her.

"He tore off one of my diamond earrings so it ripped my ear and blood was pouring down my neck," she said.

Cheryl, 50, said police were called to her Essex home on numerous occasions and urged her to press charges.

Last night, Barrymore’s agent dismissed the latest allegations as a "pack of lies" and vowed the star would clear his name.

Barrymore’s career was effectively ended by the death in his swimming pool earlier this year of Stuart Lubbock following a party.

Following an inquest, during which Barrymore refused to answer questions about drug-taking, Cheryl accused her former husband of lying when he claimed he could not swim.

In her book, she says she was placed on the police at risk register following a number of violent incidents.

She says that while they were staying at the Hotel Bel-Air in Los Angeles, Barrymore lost his temper after a waitress told him how handsome he was.

Cheryl Barrymore repeated the phrase as a joke which triggered his rage.

"He drove back to the hotel and as soon as we got into the room he threw me against the louvre doors. He was kicking me, punching, trying to kill me. I went to grab the phone to ring our minder Steve and stylist Tony who were in the next room, but Michael ripped the phone off the wall."

She says she was only saved when the two men, hearing the commotion, rushed in and rescued her.

"My own doctor begged me to leave him. He saw the bruises and he was adamant. He said ‘you can’t stay’ but still I did."

She says she repeatedly forgave her husband and nursed him out of depression.

Elsewhere, she describes how Barrymore paid his mother to keep quiet about an 18-month gay love affair he had had before they were married because she had threatened to sell her story to the newspapers.

Cheryl insists that despite the violence, there were times when their marriage was full of love. Speaking about the years they spent together before 1995, when Barrymore admitted he was gay, she said: "Michael was a married man because he wanted to be. He hated being gay, I think he hates it now.

"He fell in love with me and I fell in love with him. I could never find another relationship like it and I don’t want one. I think it’s the same for Michael."

She added: "I didn’t have a lifetime of being a battered wife. In the end I had to leave him for my own safety but I had nearly 20 years of blissfully happy years."

But she said she did not feel pity for him or believe he should be allowed to continue his television career.

"He doesn’t deserve compassion. He’s a liar who had told lies upon lies and run away all his life," she said. "He can’t beat me... and do whatever was done at that terrible party and still come back and be Mr Saturday Night."

Last night Barrymore’s agent, Mike Brown, said: "He will explain with evidence that all she is saying is a pack of lies. Michael is deeply saddened that Cheryl has chosen to write all this about him.

"We have no plans to try and stop this book being published. Let her do her absolute worst and when she is completely finished Michael will set out to prove that it is lies, all lies."

He added: "At the moment Michael’s priority is getting the inquest reopened so that he can clear his name and the name of all those at the party.

"Someone was responsible for the death of the young man and they must be brought to justice.

"After that he will concentrate on going after all those people, including Cheryl, who have written so many untruths about him, and prove that they are lying," he said.

"When Cheryl left him she told him that she made him and was now going to break him.

"She’s having a good go but ultimately Michael will prove all her allegations are false."

cgardner@scotlandonsunday.com