Patrick Swayze's widow reveals star's childhood abuse

Patrick Swayze's widow has lifted the lid on his childhood abuse in a new documentary.

The 'Dirty Dancing' actor died in September 2009 at the age of 57 after a battle with pancreatic cancer and his wife Lisa Niemi Swayze is speaking out in the new documentary 'I Am Patrick Swayze' about his early life.

Speaking about Patrick's abusive mother, Patsy, Lisa said: "Patsy was really an example of what happens in families in a cycle of abuse, She could be very violent, but it was nothing compared to what she endured growing up and the stories I heard about what she went through with her own mother.

"But you know what, if somebody pushes you that hard, like his mom did, it could make some people cave, but it made him fight harder."

Lisa revealed that on Patrick's 18th birthday, his father warned choreographer Patsy that he would divorce her if she ever hit their son again.

Lisa explained: "She never hit him after that. Over the years, he and Patsy came to have a much better relationship. Patsy could be extremely critical and negative. But she figured out that if she was going to be around us, she needed to be a little nicer, and that's what she did."

Patsy, 86, died four years after Patrick in 2013 but Lisa says they never discussed the physical violence.

She said: "I think she would say, 'Well, you know, sometimes I could be strict, I'm that kind of a teacher'. She was a complicated woman, intense and an amazing life force. Patrick absolutely loved and respected her."

Lisa also praised her husband for how he handled his battle with pancreatic cancer.

She said: "The amount of lovingness and kindness, I saw wisdom in him that was beyond anything I'd seen before."

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