Injured Stephen Hawking defends wife

Jan. 24, 2004 at 10:03 AM

CAMBRIDGE, England, Jan. 24 (UPI) -- Physicist Stephen Hawking has defended his wife amid speculation the renowned British scientist had been repeatedly assaulted in his own home.

In a defiant statement issued Friday by Hawking from his bed at Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge, the physicist described reports that he had been attacked as "completely false" and said he owed his life to his wife, Elaine, the Telegraph reported Saturday.

"I firmly and wholeheartedly reject the allegations that I have been assaulted," said Hawking, who has motor neuron disease. "The stories in the media are completely false and I am profoundly disappointed by the circulation of such personal and inaccurate information.

"My wife and I love each other very much and it is only because of her that I am alive today. I request that the media respect my privacy and allow me to focus on recovering from my illness."

It was the second statement that Hawking, 62, who has been in the hospital for the past month with a lung infection, had issued after police confirmed that they had opened an investigation into the alleged assaults.

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