Collins in 'demon' rant at ex-lover

Justin Lee Collins, arrives at St Albans Crown Court in St Albans Hertfordshire Photo: Chris Radburn/PA Wire

Television presenter Justin Lee Collins's relationship with an ex-girlfriend accusing him of harassment brought out "the demon" in him, a court heard today.

Collins, 38, had a seven-month relationship with video games public relations worker Anna Larke last year.

A jury at St Albans Crown Court, in Hertfordshire, has heard a secret recording Ms Larke, 38, made of the entertainer verbally abusing her during a row last July.

On the recording the entertainer says to her "You bring the f**** demon out in me" as he insults her with a tirade of grossly offensive terms.

The "demon" comment was previously inaudible to the court but a transcript of it was used by prosecuting barrister Peter Shaw during Collins's cross-examination.

Collins, who came to fame with Channel 4's The Friday Night Project, said the "rant" was completely out of character and it sounded "like someone else".

Mr Shaw said: "You are telling her there is something about this relationship, something about her that brings the demon out in you."

The father of two said: "That's not true."

In the recording Collins calls Ms Larke a "f** slag", a "dirty vile whore," and a "f**** sex addict".

Collins was in "meltdown", he told the jury of nine women and three men after his relationship with the recovering alcoholic hit rock bottom.

Collins, of Kew, south west London, denies harassment.

Collins met Ms Larke in 2006 at the Golden Joysticks Awards which he hosted in London.

The following year they embarked on an affair behind his wife Karen's back, which lasted until 2008.

The pair split up but resumed their relationship after the star's marriage broke down in late 2010. Collins and his wife had been married for nine years but together for 15 in total.

Ms Larke moved in with Collins in January last year after he left the marital home in Bristol, but problems quickly developed.

The Crown allege that the bearded, long-haired ex-comic was a controlling, sexually jealous boyfriend who made Ms Larke write down every sexual encounter she ever had.

Collins says the sex list, on which he features at number 37, was Ms Larke's idea to "unburden" herself.

He rejected claims he had problems with his temper and did not physically or emotionally abuse Ms Larke, who used to suffer from claustrophobia, agoraphobia, anxiety and depression.

Collins said: "I don't need anger management and to this day I don't have a problem with my anger."

Referring to the secret recording, he said he was not thinking clearly and was irrational.

Describing parts of it as "bizarre and nonsensical", he said: "They are just about the worst things a man can say to a woman."

He said the recording also showed him as a "man who has done everything he can to support and help financially and emotionally but can't do enough".

Collins denies assaulting the complainant, who admitted bombarding him with text messages.

Collins accepts he twice slapped Ms Larke but only with a gentle tap to calm her during relapses into alcoholism.

He added to this day he "still cares for her well-being".