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Collins 'Told Ex He Would Jump Off Bridge'
Comedian Justin Lee Collins has told a court that when he tried to break off a relationship with his ex-girlfriend, he told her he felt like jumping off a bridge.
The TV presenter, who was giving evidence at his trial in St Albans, denies harassing Anna Larke between January and August last year.
Collins, 38, said that when his wife Karen had confronted him about an email exchange between himself and Ms Larke, he left his home in Bristol and walked to the Clifton Suspension Bridge.
He claimed he phoned Ms Larke and she had not wanted the relationship to end.
He told the jury that he said: "Look, I'm standing right next to the Clifton Suspension Bridge, and I feel like throwing myself right off it".
He added he had no intention of doing that but he was "highly emotional".
The Friday Night Project star admitted slapping Ms Larke, a former PR worker, "very lightly" on two occasions.
Once, when he alleges she was hysterical and threatening suicide, and again when she called herself a "Jaffa" and punched herself.
He said that "to an extent" the slaps had brought her to her senses. He denied ever slapping or kicking her in her private parts, or pulling her off a bed by her hair while on holiday.
Collins admitted calling Ms Larke a "filthy, vile whore" and a "slag", but only under "extreme stress, provocation and goading".
During their nine-month relationship, he said there were a number of arguments with Ms Larke who said "there are things you need to know ... You need to dump me".
He said Ms Larke had told him she had had a liaison with a public figure called "Charlie", but that he was not interested in past boyfriends.
He also told how Ms Larke had a "significant problem with alcohol" and a doctor had told her that "if she didn't stop drinking she could be dead in two months", and that she was taking a form of Prozac for anxiety, panic attacks, and depression.
He said she told him she had tried to kill herself three times previously, by trying to throw herself out of a moving car, by threatening to cut herself and by fastening a noose around a bannister at home.
Collins said he had not walked away because he "loved her and cared for her greatly".
Collins said he had not forced Ms Larke to write down her sexual past on a note pad but that she had wanted to do it and found it "cathartic and therapeutic".
He said he had found it "troubling" when she had admitted not using protection with some partners.
He also said he had not forced Ms Larke to have a test for sexually transmitted diseases, but she had had concerns she might have Aids.
Collins said Ms Larke had been bankrupt and he had given her cash "every day", for Christmas he had bought her an iPad, an Amazon Kindle, and Alexander McQueen shoes. On a trip to New York, he had bought her a $1,000 leather dress.
Collins, who is going through a divorce, said spending money on his family was "constantly" an issue for Ms Larke. He claims she once said: "Why don't you go back to your fat wife?", to which he replied: "or I could stay with my fat girlfriend".
Collins also said Ms Larke told him a work colleague called "Stu", who had been having marital problems, had made a harassment complaint against her. He claims she was warned not to contact or email him.
The trial continues.