Photo Credit: John Sciulli/WireImage
Jaleel White is defending himself against his ex-girlfriend's claim that he abused her. In a new Star magazine interview, Bridget Hardy, the mother of White's young daughter, accuses her ex of being physically and emotionally abusive. During one argument, she says, he hit her "across the chest area." Another time, he pushed her into a toilet so hard that he broke it.
But on Thursday evening, the former Family Matters star released a statement denying Hardy's accusations. "When you’re doing well in life, it’s par for the course certain individuals will try and knock you down," said the Dancing With the Stars contestant. "When the individual is also the mother of your only child it is particularly hurtful."
White, 35, told People that Hardy's allegations are part of a bitter custody battle over their daughter, and that he was never questioned by the police over her claims -- even though she filed a "malicious police report."
"As much as I would love to go detail for detail refuting Ms. Hardy's claims about the specifics of what was our relationship, the family court judge made it very clear to me any public discussion of our case and ordeal would be held against me in a court of law," he says.
The actor and Hardy broke up in 2010, and he says that she's only speaking up now because she can't "stomach" his "recent successes." (Those being DWTS and his hosting gig on the Syfy game show Total Blackout.)
"Bridget Hardy has consistently shown a knack for timing throughout our child custody disputes," White says, adding, "I'm assuming I have not received her votes these past Monday nights."
In her interview with Star, Hardy has no shortage of bad things to say about White: She says he cheated on her, he made her hide at home while she was pregnant, and he even offered her $200,000 to get out of her own daughter's life. But now, she acknowledges, he's a good father to two-year-old Samaya.
"He loves her to death and is a good financial provider," Hardy tells the magazine.
And White says that his daughter is the only reason he's speaking out about the story.
"My only hope is that when my daughter Googles her parents one day in her future, she sees that her father acted with class and dignity when pressed to the fire," he says. "Bridget Hardy is the mother of my only daughter in this world and without Ms. Hardy I would not have the treasure that is my daughter. God knows the truth... I ask for your sensitivity during this time, I can assure all of my fans this is only residue from a child custody matter."