Research suggests that women abuse male partners almost as often as men abuse women. There are many reasons why domestic violence against men goes unreported, but one of the most common is that the man feels that the woman will accuse him of being the abuser instead, which could result in criminal charges and many other damaging effects on the man’s future prospects.

Over a year ago, a well-known movie actress wrote an op-ed in a prominent publication implying that her ex-husband, also a prominent movie actor, had physically abused her. Authorities have filed no criminal charges in the case, but the actor filed a defamation lawsuit against his ex-wife claiming that her allegations are untrue and have caused him professional and financial losses as studios are now reluctant to cast him in movie roles.

The two have engaged in a legal battle that has drawn out over the past year in which each accuses the other. However, a recently released audio recording allegedly of an argument between the two seems to suggest that the actress’s claims may have been false and that she may have been the abuser in the relationship all along.

In the audio recording, the actress admits to hitting her husband but raises a semantic issue over a claim that she “punched” him and tells him that the blows did not hurt him. When the actor asserts that she threw pots and pans at him, she does not appear to deny it.

An attorney for the actress asserts that the admissions she seems to make on the audio do not preclude her from also being a victim of domestic violence. The concept of “mutual abuse” is a controversial one. Those facing criminal charges of domestic violence may wish to speak with an attorney.