Sir Paul McCartney has said he will "vigorously" contest allegations that he violently abused Heather Mills during their four-year marriage.
Mills met Sir Paul in 1999 through charity work and married in 2002
A statement issued through his lawyers said he would "very much like to respond in public and in detail".
"But he recognises, on advice, that the only correct forum for his response... is in the current divorce proceedings."
The Daily Mail says court papers filed on Lady McCartney's behalf allege Sir Paul abused her and used illegal drugs.
According to the newspaper, court papers relating to the divorce say that the former Beatle subjected his wife to violent attacks, including one incident in which her arm was cut with a broken wine glass.
Sir Paul's statement, issued through his solicitors, Payne Hicks Beach, said he had "maintained his silence in not commenting on the media stories believing that it was best for all concerned, particularly his children, for there to be some dignity in what is a private matter".
"Our client is saddened by the breakdown of his marriage and requests that his family is allowed to conduct their personal affairs out of the media spotlight for the sake of everybody involved," it added.
Earlier on Wednesday, during a pre-planned appearance on the BBC's City Hospital programme, Lady McCartney refused to comment on the allegations.
But her law firm says she "stands by everything that has been filed at court".
The Daily Mail says its story is based on a 13-page legal document, which it says was filed in response to Sir Paul's divorce petition.
Law firm Mischon de Reya, which represents Lady McCartney, said it would "not comment on leaked or allegedly leaked documents".
However, it added: "Lady Heather Mills McCartney stands by everything that has been filed at court on her behalf and intends to prove its truth in due course, should this be necessary.
The couple wed in the Republic of Ireland in 2002
"We would ask that the parties' privacy, during what is a difficult and emotional time, is respected."
Despite such pleas, the McCartneys' divorce has been closely followed by Britain's tabloid newspapers.
Sir Paul has posted several messages on his website discrediting "inaccurate stories" and the "malicious spreading of rumours and made-up facts" since their separation.
The McCartneys married in June 2002. They met in 1999 through Lady McCartney's work for her charity, launched after losing a leg in a motorbike accident in 1993.
Announcing their separation in May, the couple said they had "found it increasingly difficult to maintain a normal relationship with constant intrusion into our private lives".