Sherrie Hewson was beaten unconscious with a bat by her former partner.

Sherrie Hewson

Sherrie Hewson

The 69-year-old actress revealed that she was the victim of shocking domestic abuse by John Rowlands when she was in her early twenties and it went on for five years, with John once beating her so badly that she passed out.

Sherrie - who is backing OK!'s Closet Clear Out campaign for Refuge - told OK! magazine: "The abuse went on over a five year period. Everything was always my fault, and John told me that I was going crazy.

"I couldn't normally go to the loo without him following me when we were out. One time at a bar, he was talking to a friend so took my chance to go to the toilet without him. When I went back downstairs, he attacked me with a bat, knocked me unconscious and disappeared. The police did arrive but didn't want to know as it was classed as a 'domestic'."

Sherrie said that John - who has since passed away - played on her sympathies to keep her trapped and she feels she was "brain washed".

She explained: "He would break down and cry like a baby in a ball on the floor after he had his fill of punching me. This is the most common thing these bullies do and for some reason you feel sorry for them. That's how much you are brain washed."

However, there were times when she was tempted to fight back.

She said: "I did pick up a knife many times - and anything heavy - but I never had the nerve to strike. Once I did throw a vase full of water and flowers at him from behind but it hit his shoulder."

Although she eventually managed to escape John's clutches, Sherrie admitted the ordeal left her terrified.

She said: "I lived in John's shadow for many, many years. Suddenly you look over your shoulder and you think that person is behind you. I saw his face everywhere. If he wasn't dead, it would probably still follow me now."

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