Man in domestic abuse Facebook video is ‘sorry’

The celebrity fitness coach outed as a domestic abuser on Facebook has admitted he did hit his partner and apologised for hurting her.

Man in domestic abuse Facebook video is ‘sorry’

Francis Usanga spoke out after a week in hiding during which more than 8.7 million people worldwide viewed the video posted by Emma Murphy, the mother of his two children, revealing his violence towards her.

Ms Murphy, 26, a health and fitness instructor from Dublin, appeared on the video with a black eye, tearfully describing how she was walking away from Usanga, the “love of my life” and urging other women not to accept violent relationships.

Usanga, 29, who runs a fitness studio, was a regular on RTÉ’s Today Show as Fit Man Fran, and also had small acting parts, including in TV3’s Red Rock soap.

He is now under Garda investigation and could face assault charges arising out of Ms Murphy’s complaints and his own admissions.

He told a Sunday newspaper he was sorry and apologised to Ms Murphy, her family, his family, colleagues, sponsors and RTE.

“I’m just heartbroken and distraught at what’s happened,” he said, adding his actions “shocked” him.

He claimed the incident that prompted the Facebook posting, started when Ms Murphy accused him of having an affair and threw his work mobile phone to the floor, smashing it.

“I lost the head and basically pushed her straight in the face. I shoved her in the face. It was a real forceful shove in the face. I connected with her face,” he said.

He denied he was having an affair but confirmed he had briefly seen another woman who later informed Ms Murphy she was pregnant with his baby just days before Ms Murphy gave birth to their second child.

But he claimed they had broken up during this time and that this was a feature of their five-year relationship.

“It was up and down, we’d be together today or we’d be broken up next week.”

He detailed another violence incident in a hotel when Gardaí were called and Ms Murphy went to hospital but he insisted she cut her head when she slipped and fell, not from a blow by him.

Of another incident in a car he said: “There was just mayhem. We were arguing and pushing and shoving and throwing things at each other and in the end she ended up with a black eye.

“I was in the wrong and no man should hit a woman, that’s 100 per cent right,” he said. He said he had started anger management sessions but did not think a reconciliation was possible.

Ms Murphy declined to comment yesterday. She said previously she did not want to engage in a public tit-for-tat with Usanga and only spoke out because she believed it might help other women.

Women’s Aid praised her courage and urged any woman who needed help or someone to talk to, to call 1800 341 900.

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