Dennis Waterman's confession that he hit his former wife, the actress Rula Lenska, sparked outrage. Now, Lenska has spoken to her friend Denise Welch, a presenter of the Loose Women chat show and revealed that she is "relieved" that he has finally confessed, revealing that she has been branded a liar over the allegations.

Yesterday (March 21, 2012), The Mirror revealed that Rula had spent the previous day at her West London home, before joining her agent for lunch. The issue of the domestic violence that she suffered at the hands of Dennis Waterman had been discussed earlier in the day, on Loose Women, as her fellow Coronation Street friend Welch revealed "All that she wants to say is that she is glad that he's eventually admitted it because, several years ago, when the marriage broke up and she first came out and made these allegations, she has since then been perceived as a liar by many quarters - some in the press and some from other people. So she is relieved he's eventually said it."

Waterman's confession sparked criticism in many quarters, for his attempts to distinguish between someone who is "battered" (i.e. abused many times) and "hit" (only occasionally). He admitted that he was drunk when he struck his wife, saying "I must have hit her one time because she had a black eye. Afterwards I felt utterly ashamed." Waterman also attributed the abuse to Lenska being a "strong, intelligent" woman. The chief executive of Refuge has spoken out on the matter, saying "I am appalled by Dennis Waterman's comments about his violence towards Rula Lenska, which trivialise the abuse he inflicted on her."