Meredith Baxter's ex denies abuse claims

March 5, 2011 at 2:57 PM

LOS ANGELES, March 5 (UPI) -- Meredith Baxter's ex-husband denied her claims that he repeatedly hit the U.S. actress during their 16-year marriage.

David Birney told People magazine this week Baxter's abuse claims were based on "recovered memories" induced in therapy and that her new memoir "Untitled" was a "kind of fairy tale."

Birney, 71, divorced Baxter 20 years ago amid accusations he roughed her up. People said Saturday the divorce included eight years of shared custody of their three children.

Birney said the allegations were part of Baxter's efforts to secure sole custody and were "a mean-spirited process that battered us all, especially the children."

"The court denied her suit on every occasion," he added.

Baxter, meanwhile, said in her book Birney struck her on several occasions.

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