HANNIBAL star Gary Oldman is at the centre of a bitter custody battle with ex-wife DONYA FIORENTINO - who accuses him of burning one of their sons with a cigarette.

The British star, who is currently filming as sinister SIRIUS BLACK in Harry Potter AND THE PRISONER OF AZKABAN, has been branded an unfit parent by his Italian ex.

She claims the reformed alcoholic is drinking again and taking drugs, saying one of her two sons last month (MAY03) said a burn mark on his neck had been made by his father.

At the time of divorce in 2001, Oldman won custody of children GULLIVER, five, and CHARLIE, four, despite Donya saying her husband had beaten her up and blown thousands of dollars (pounds) on alcohol and drugs.

Donya, who met Oldman at an ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS meeting, claims her son Charlie told her "his dad hit him and he said he is scared of his dad".

However, the actor's manager Douglas Urbanski denies the accusations, saying, "These are outrageous allegations from a woman who has a history of making false allegations.

"Gary has celebrated his seventh anniversary of sobriety with AA. He's a wonderful father."

Donya is Oldman's third wife, following failed unions with Uma Thurman and Lesley Manville.

15/06/2003 10:46