Justin Lee Collins hit girlfriend 'to calm her down'
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.