Actor David Birney has broken his silence to vehemently deny ex-wife Meredith Baxter's allegations he was violent towards her during their 15-year marriage.
Baxter shocked fans this week (beg28Feb11) by lifting the lid on her relationship with her Bridget Loves Birney co-star in her new memoir, Untied. She alleges the marriage was blighted by domestic violence and accuses Birney of being abusive.
Birney has now spoken out for the first time about his former partner's allegations, calling her claims "mean spirited" and "absurd" and insisting Baxter concocted tales of marital woes to aid her in the custody battle over the former couple's three children.
The actor says in a statement to People.com, "(She) conducted a relentless and brutal assault (against the shared custody in an attempt) to destroy that arrangement and replace it with herself as sole custodian.
"During that time she arrived in court repeatedly with various lawyers and several therapists, 'recovered memories,' accusations of abuse - a common charge in custody disputes - and tales of our life together that bore little resemblance to truth - a mean spirited process that battered us all, especially the children. The court denied her suit on every occasion.
"This current recycled version of our family story is no more credible now than it was then."
And Birney insists he is shocked Baxter has painted such a bleak story of their marriage in her book, adding, "(It is) immensely sad and truly absurd (that she) is unable to reclaim a single instance of joy or pleasure in all that time, not one occasion of love or delight or accomplishment in our entire life together as we built a family. Not one.
"Nothing from our first meeting to divorce. Nothing, in sixteen years. Really? This blanket omission, this unrelieved denial of even a single instance of joy or pleasure in the creation of a family, the substance and amazing joy of raising children together, of simply being together with them during that time, is incomprehensible. And sad. Meredith's own account of these years is its own rebuke to her credibility."