The comedian Justin Lee Collins has admitted that he slapped his girlfriend, but said he only did it to calm her down, a court heard.
Mr Collins, 38, of Kew in south-west London, denies a charge of harassing Anna Larke during their nine-month relationship.
Police interviews he gave after his arrest were read to the jury at St Albans Crown Court yesterday.
Ms Larke has claimed Mr Collins attacked her in a Miami hotel in March 2011.
But Mr Collins said he only ever slapped her when she was self-harming. He claimed she had once gouged her wrists and threatened to commit suicide.
Mr Collins said she had a "screaming fit" in the hotel. "She would have episodes and I would try to calm her down," he said. The trial continues.