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Meredith Baxter opened up to Today‘s Matt Lauer about her allegedly abusive marriage to her former co-star/husband David Birney saying she “didn’t know she could go.”

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The last time Meredith appeared on Today she announced she is a  lesbian and now she’s going into detail about her alleged abusive marriage of 15 years to David, who denies the allegations.

The Family Ties star married her Bridget Loves Birney co-star and had three children with him before ending their marriage in 1989.

In Meredith’s new memoir, Untied, she discusses the emotional and physical abuse she allegedly suffered in her marriage.

“What I got out of it eventually was I had to change my thinking,” she said (via E! News). “I had to look, if I did not want to be a victim — and I’d been committed to being a victim for a long time because it felt really warm and comfortable and familiar—but it was a disastrous position to be in. So I had to change my thinking. I had to look at, what was my part? What was in my thinking that told me it was okay to be in this relationship?”

So why did she stay with him for the 17 years she knew him?

“That’s what everyone would want to know,” Meredith admitted. “I didn’t know I had a choice. I didn’t know I could go.”

“It wasn’t an accident that we were together,” she added. “He’s not going to pick someone who’s on top of themselves and confident and aggressive, no, he needs to pick someone for him to be who he needed to be, it needed to be someone who was mousy and quiet and retiring, and that’s what I was.”

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And she didn’t tell any of her co-stars about her troubles.

“You learn to compartmentalize. When I got to the studio, my home life was not happening,” Meredith said. “Nobody knew anything. I didn’t have a social life. I did my work, I went home.”

And it’s similar to Meredith discovering her true sexuality.

“People say, ‘You had to have known know you were gay.’ I realized, I was so un-self-examined, I could have been a Republican, but no, I’m just gay,” she explained. “That’s much better, don’t you think?”

Watch Meredith’s interview below!

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