David Birney has denied ex-wife Meredith Baxter's claims that he abused her during their marriage.
Baxter's claims are "an appalling abuse of the truth," Birney told People in a statement.
Meredith Baxter: David Birney hit me
Baxter made the allegations in her new memoir, Untied
. She said Birney's abuse was "so sudden and unexpected, I couldn't tell you which hand hit me, or even how hard." Baxter spoke at length about it this week on Today
and The Oprah Winfrey Show
Birney, who already denied Baxter's claims to Today
, added that the actress "conducted a relentless and brutal assault" against the joint custody of their three children for eight years after their divorce.
"During that time, she arrived in court repeatedly with various lawyers and several therapists, 'recovered memories,' accusations of abuse — a common charge in custody disputes — and tales of our life together that bore little resemblance to truth — a mean spirited process that battered us all, especially the children," Birney's statement said. "The court denied her suit on every occasion."
Family Ties' Meredith Baxter to pen memoir
The two continued to share custody until their children went to college. "This current recycled version of our family story is no more credible now than it was then," Birney said, adding that he found it "immensely sad and truly absurd" that Baxter "is unable to reclaim a single instance of joy or pleasure in all that time" in her memoir.
"Nothing from our first meeting to divorce. Nothing, in 16 years. Really?" he continued. "This blanket omission, this unrelieved denial of even a single instance of joy or pleasure in the creation of a family, the substance and amazing joy of raising children together, of simply being together with them during that time, is incomprehensible. And sad. Meredith's own account of these years is its own rebuke to her credibility. "
Family Ties' Meredith Baxter: I'm a lesbian
Baxter and Birney married in 1974 after meeting on the short-lived sitcom Bridget Loves Bernie. Baxter, a former Family Ties star, came out as a lesbian in 2009.