Page last updated at 17:18 GMT, Monday, 23 March 2009

EastEnders' Gus sues in abuse row

Mohammed George
Mr George gave evidence in person during the hearing

Actor Mohammed George, who played Gus Smith in EastEnders, has started a High Court libel action against The Sun after it branded him a "woman beater".

Mr George, who starred in the BBC soap for five years, said the paper accused him of "acting like a wild animal" during a fight with his girlfriend.

The actor was arrested in 2006 after a a row with his partner, Emma Archibald.

Mr George's lawyer said the reports had "damaged his prospects as an actor". The Sun is contesting his claim.

Speaking on behalf of the actor, Ronald Thwaites QC said Mr George felt that being called a "woman beater" was "one step away from being described as a paedophile".

Mr Thwaites said: "In a nutshell the allegation against him is that he flew into a rage in the street in the early hours of the morning of 3 December, 2006, and beat up his then girlfriend and mother of his daughter, acting like a wild animal and leaving her sprawling in the street when he ran away.

"He says this is completely untrue, a false picture."

'Laid back'

The lawyer said that after being contacted about its report, The Sun insisted it "stood by the truth of what they had written".

Mr George accepted a police caution for common assault three months after the episode in north London.

His lawyer said the actor admitted that he hit Ms Archibald with a rubbish bag which had split open.

He also told the court that his client's argument with Ms Archibald was about her taking drugs.

The couple, who have since split up, have a daughter together.

Mr George, 26, appeared in court in person to give evidence. Under questioning from his lawyer he said he was similar to his EastEnders character.

He described himself as a "very calm and laid back" person who did not have a short fuse.

Speaking from the witness box he said: "I am a very sensitive person. I write poetry myself."

When asked if he was someone who was prepared to hit women he answered: "No way."

The case continues at the High Court.

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