ACTOR Martin Freeman has admitted smacking his kids and calling them “little f***ers” when they were very young.
The star of TV’s Sherlock and The Hobbit films, 48, has two children, Joe, 14, and Grace 11, with his former partner Amanda Abbington.
He said: “One of the rules is, don’t smack your kids or call them little f***ers.
"But, you know, I’ve done both.
“I’ve probably smacked twice, but I’ve called them little f***ers more than twice.
“I know I’m not supposed to do it, but there are so many images about how (parenting) all just has to be brilliant that it makes people feel bad.
"Because it’s not brilliant. I mean, it is — it’s the best thing I’ll do.
"But that doesn’t mean it’s not really hard.
“This idea you only ever rationalise with a toddler? Genuinely, good luck.
"If you can do that, God go with you. Amazing.”
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Martin claimed the smacking only took place when he struggled to rationalise with his kids when they were little, or when he was at the “end of my rope”.
In The Sunday Times interview about new parenting sitcom Breeders, he added: “I’m not proud I did that, but I have. I don’t think it’s a policy. And I’ll do it again!”
Dame Esther Rantzen, 79, who founded the ChildLine charity, said: “I’d say to Martin, ‘I’m sorry to hear that, because I know you care about children, but I don’t think this is your finest hour’.”