Actor Dennis Waterman admitted hitting his ex-wife Rula Lenska but has insisted that she was not a beaten wife.
In an interview with Piers Morgan for ITV, Waterman said: “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 … I lashed out.”
Brighton domestic abuse charity RISE criticised Waterman for trivialising the violence but also highlighted the fact Ms Lenska’s claims were widely thought to be untrue.
A RISE spokesperson added that disbelief of abuse claims is something survivors report again and again.
According to the Daily Mirror Ms Lenska said: “I’ve spent been years being branded a liar because some people thought I had made it up. I now finally feel vindicated.”
ITV has faced backlash on Twitter with Labour MP Stella Creasy saying that the programme should make a contribution to raising awareness about widespread domestic abuse.
Piers Morgan retorted: “Can’t blame me or ITV for what Dennis Waterman said.”
Dennis Waterman is known for playing Terry McCann in ITV’s Minder.
The interview for will air next month in ITV’s Life Stories.