Freddie Starr’s widow on ‘hellish’ marriage, and how comedian's abuse left her suicidal

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - DECEMBER 16: Freddie Starr and Sophie Lea attend the British Comedy Awards at Fountain Studios on December 16, 2011 in London, England. (Photo by Stuart Wilson/Getty Images)

Freddie Starr's widow has lifted the lid on their 'hellish' marriage, claiming the comedian abused her 'mentally, emotionally and physically'.

Sophie Lea married Starr, who was found dead in his Spanish apartment earlier this month, in 2013, but was estranged from her husband at the time of his death.

In her first interview since Starr died, Lea told the Mirror: "He would wake up in the morning loving you to bits, go for a snooze in the afternoon and wake up hating you.

"He would throw every single bit of vile abuse at me.

"He abused me mentally, emotionally and physically until I broke.

"I would have much rather been hit than have to deal with the constant cruel words. He told me I was ­worthless, that I was absolutely nothing."

Lea revealed Starr, who was 38 years older than his wife, was very paranoid and did not like her leaving the house without him. She said: "He was massively paranoid.

"I don't remember half the things he said because it went from words to being noise. When you are on the receiving end of that abuse constantly every single day there is nowhere to escape.

"I had nobody to turn to. He stopped me leaving the house. I was only allowed to go out to go to Tesco to do the food shop.

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The Queen meets singer Tina Turner, second from the right, watched by comedian Freddie Starr after the Royal Variety Performance at the London Palladium.
English comedian Freddie Starr.
British pop star Engelbert Humperdinck (c) celebrates with fellow stars Freddie Starr (l) and Des O'Connor (r) at a party in London following a concert at the Royal Albert Hall, London.
File photo dated 27/06/85 of Freddie Starr, flanked by his seconds, Vee Brooks, left, and Sue Lee, right. Starr has died at the of 76, according to reports. Starr, a household name who rose to fame in the 1970s, was found dead at his home in Spain.
Show business personalities after attending the Memorial service for Benny Hill at St Martin-in-the-Fields in London. L-R Top Row Henry McGee, Alfred Marks, Freddie Starr, Les Dennis. Bottom row L-R Davie Kaye and Ronnie Corbett.
File photo dated 17/03/83 of Freddie Starr who has died at the of 76, according to reports. Starr, a household name who rose to fame in the 1970s, was found dead at his home in Spain.
Comedian Freddie Starr who celebrates his 52nd birthday on Tuesday 9 Januray, 1996.
Library filer of Freddie Starr, dated 17.3.83. Dozens of current showbusiness favourites, including comedian and actor Freddy Starr, were given their big break on the TV talent show 'Opportunity Knocks' which was hosted by veteran TV presenter Hughie Green who died today (Saturday) aged 77. See PA story DEATH Green. PA Photo. AVAILABLE IN BLACK AND WHITE ONLY.
Freddie Starr, whose horse Miinnehoma was the winner of the 1994 Grand National.
Freddie Starr arrives at Leeds Crown Court today (Wednesday) where he was called as a witness. Watch for PA Story COURTS (blackmail) story. Photo by John Giles/PA.
Comedian Freddie Starr outside Maidenhead Magistrates Court today (Wednesday) with his girlfriend Donna Smith, where he appeared on an assault charge after he slapped his teenage son during a bitter family row. Starr admitted common assault and recieved 12 month conditional discharge and ordered him to pay prosecution costs of 45. Photo by Tim Ockenden/PA. See PA story COURTS Starr
Freddie Starr arrives at the British Comedy Awards at the Fountain Studios in London.
Freddie Starr outside his home in Warwickshire after the CPS confirmed that he will not be charged as part of Operation Yewtree due to insufficient evidence.
Freddie Starr leaves the High Court in London at the start of a slander and libel claim against a woman who says he groped her when she was in the audience at a Jimmy Savile show when she was a 15-year-old.
Comic Freddie Starr poses for pictures during a photo call to launch the new series Supply and Demand January 22. Starr will play a drugs baron in his first serious role. BRITAIN
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"If I was a bit longer than he thought was necessary I would be getting accused of cheating, of s******g every single person. He wouldn't even let me speak to my son Elliott unless he was present.

"He thought we were sending messages via our eyes. Whenever Elliott came into the room I would have to lower my gaze in case I would get accused of sending secret messages.

"He would get all my clothes and sit there with a knife and rip them all up."

The 38-year-old said Starr's abuse lead to a breakdown, and eventually a suicide attempt.

She said: "It was hellish. It's hard to describe in its entirety of how bad it was. Mentally I was in a mess. I eventually had a breakdown. I was suicidal. I was also self-harming, cutting my arms and legs.

"When he found out he threw a pair of scissors at me and punched me in the thigh. His reaction was, 'We're all f*****g depressed but you don't see me cutting myself.'

"He also said, 'Go and get me a knife and I'll f*****g do it properly for you.'

"I ended up thinking, 'F**k you, you're not doing it' and went and slit my wrist. I was upstairs and he was downstairs watching telly.

"I wrapped it up and drove myself to hospital. He went to bed. He couldn't be bothered to help.

"It was a genuine attempt to take my own life. I wanted out, away from him. The breakdown was because of Freddie's abuse."

- This article first appeared on Yahoo

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