The ex-Brookside star explains why she put up with an abusive relationship

Last year Jennifer Ellison was devastated when she discovered former fiancé Tony Richardson, 28, had been cheating on her.

He’d also been beating her up, though she’d kept this quiet.

‘I kept it all behind closed doors,’ she admits. ‘I loved him and thought he’d change, so I lied and kept on lying.

‘I forgave him for breaking my collarbone and smashing me over the head with a bottle. But the ultimate betrayal was when he went off with another girl.

‘I thought: “I’ve lied and lied for you, but you’ve betrayed me in the worst way.”‘

Like many abused women, Jennifer, 24, blamed herself for the way she was being treated.

‘Half the time I thought I deserved it because I’d pushed him too far or been a bitch,’ she says. ‘It’s madness. There’s no way any man should beat a woman and no way any woman should stay with a man who does.’