Ex-lover 'tried to blackmail comic'

Justin Lee Collins. Credit: PA

The girlfriend of Justin Lee Collins was accused of trying to blackmail the comedian.

Anna Larke, 38, was asked whether she had threatened to report the former Friday Night Project host to the police if he did not give her £20,000 after they broke up.

Sonia Woodley QC, defending Collins, 38, said: "You told him 'Give me £20,000 or I'm going to hurt you and I'm going to go to the police."

Miss Larke, who alleges Collins harassed and assaulted her during their nine month relationship, said: "Oh my god that's absolute lies. I've never said that"

Ms Woodley said Collins texted her back saying 'I've offered you all sorts of help but I'm not getting involved in blackmail'.

Larke told the court: "If I had just wanted money I would have gone straight to the press."

Collins, of Kew, denies one charge of harassment by causing her fear of violence.