Acting legend Sir Patrick Stewart won praise from ‘Loose Women’ viewers as he revealed details about a traumatic childhood in which he and his mother endured domestic violence at the hands of his father.

The 77 year old stage and screen icon was a guest on the ITV show on Thursday (April 12th) and spoke about how acting was often had an escapist function for him.

“I had a reason to be out of the house in the evenings when often problems would occur,” he explained about his childhood growing up in Mirfield, West Yorkshire. “My brother and I lived with my mother and her sister across the road, we were treated so well. Suddenly there was this big, hairy man in the house. Increasingly things became more and more difficult.”

Stewart then detailed how his father, whom he described as a “weekend alcoholic”, and a war veteran suffering undiagnosed PTSD, often hit out at his mother.

Patrick StewartSir Patrick Stewart with with Sunny Ozell in 2017

“At those moments we would go in, we would just try and put our bodies between our mother and our father,” he revealed.

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“He was a weekend alcoholic and it was partly brought about because of his transformation from Regimental Sergeant Major to basically a semi-skilled labourer with no authority at all. I realise now [that this] must have been very painful for him. He was also suffering from this condition [PTSD].”

He added: “What I only learned about a few years ago was that he had suffered what the newspapers described as severe shell-shock. Of course he was never treated for it – what we now call PTSD. That does not justify what he did, not remotely.”

Stewart is a patron of the domestic violence charity Refuge, then spoke about a new government bill to try to help victims, for which he won praise from viewers.

“One of the problems of domestic violence is that shame attached to it – for everybody, for the victim and the abuser and the children, too,” he explained. “Unlike my time, there is aid available now. There are 24-hour helplines. Women’s Aid is one of the organisations that has a helpline. Call the helpline, you need not be alone.”

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