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Meredith Baxter says ex-hubby David Birney hit her

http://cache4.asset-cache.net/xc/50731306.jpg?v=1&c=IWSAsset&k=2&d=E41C9FE5C4AA0A14A73D253E7135FE2E819EEBE94A7D2516D38D9C1B715A8C56B01E70F2B3269972

http://www.mylifetime.com/files/imagecache/photo_gallery_featured/files/images/e-gall-meredithbaxter-twins.jpgMeredith Baxter and David Birney were once one of Hollywood’s golden couples even starring together on the ABC series Bridget Loves Bernie.

But their marriage ended in 1989 after 15 years together and three children.

Since then, not only has Miss Baxter, best known for Family Ties and her Betty Broderick TV movies, come out as a lesbian but she also alleges that Birney hit her during the marriage more than once.

In her forthcoming memoir Untied, Baxter writes: “It was so sudden and unexpected, I couldn’t tell you which hand hit me, or even how hard. I do recall thinking, ‘I’d better not get up because he’s going to hit me again.’ ”

Baxter has been sober since 1990 and writes that drinking helped her cope with the situation.

Appearing on The Today Show this morning, host Matt Lauer asked the 63-year-old actress:”Why didn’t you leave?”

She replied: “I didn’t know I could go.”

David Birney, 71, has denied the allegations, Lauer said.

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