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Dempsey's First Wife to Enquirer -- I've Been Had

11/1/2006 6:49 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF

Patrick Dempsey's first wife admits she lied when she accused the actor of brutality, but claims the National Enquirer knew it was a lie but published the story anyway.

The Enquirer published an article citing divorce documents filed in 1992, in which Rochelle Parker alleged Dempsey attacked her on a movie set and broke her finger by slamming it in a car door. Parker was 47-years-old back in 1987 when she married Dempsey, who was 21. Dempsey left Parker in 1992 for another woman.

Parker recently recanted her allegations after learning the Enquirer was about to publish its story. Parker now claims the allegations were made "in the heat of a divorce" and "false." Parker says she was played by the Enquirer: "I never confirmed to the Enquirer that the story ... is true. To the contrary, I have previously stated that such allegations are untrue. In fact, the Enquirer offered to pay me money to confirm such allegations, which offer I refused."

TMZ contacted the Enquirer. Editor in Chief David Perel says, "When we went to Dempsey for comment, his people were desperate to stop the story and they realized they couldn't. One of the things they tried is to elicit a statement from her (Parker) saying he did not beat her." Perel says his paper offered money for wedding photos, but that's it.

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