- Former Wimbledon star claims his 'life was at stake' living with wife Abigail
- Fashanu, 52, denies cheating and says he caught her in bed with a woman
- But she's rubbished claims and says her husband is 'sick and needs help'
- The couple's bitter divorce is set to play out in Nigeria, where they live
Former footballer John Fashanu is embroiled in a bitter split with his wife Abigail amid claims that she threatened him with knives after he slept with their maid.
The ex-Wimbledon player, 52, has filed for divorce, claiming his 'life was at stake' - and says it was in fact her who cheated on him - with another woman who she calls her 'spiritual partner'.
Mrs Fashanu, 48, strenuously denies these allegations and says her ex-husband is 'sick and needs help'.
Bitter split: John Fashanu, 52, and his wife Abigail, 48 have accused each other of cheating and he claims she has violently attacked him on a number of occasions
Fashanu, who also presented hit TV show Gladiators, wed Abigail in 2011 but their marriage hit the rocks last year.
While she claims to have caught him undressed in bed with two women, including the housemaid, he says he found her in bed with a female friend.
Mrs Fashanu denies this - claiming the woman is just a friend who was living with her for a short period.
As well as the allegations of cheating and threatening behaviour, the father of five has accused his wife of stealing thousands of pounds in cash from their marital home in Nigeria.
Speaking to Patrick Hill at The Sunday People, the former star said: 'My life was at risk and I didn't want it to happen again. That's why I filed for divorce.
Denying that he slept with the housemaid, he added: 'This is me, John Fashanu, you're talking to. It's absolute nonsense. If she wants to make up that story, at least let her say it's Beyoncé or someone.
'I've been very fortunate to date some of the most beautiful women in the world. I certainly don't have to sleep with my cleaner!'
His heyday: The former footballer, pictured playing for Wimbledon, has filed for divorce claiming his 'life was at stake' - and says Abigail cheated on him with another woman who she calls her 'spiritual partner'
Denies cheating: Claiming that he did not sleep with the housemaid, Fashanu said: 'This is me, John Fashanu, you're talking to. It's absolute nonsense'
Fashanu, dubbed Fash the Bash for his tough reputation at Wimbledon, says his wife attacked him on a number of occasions and that the violence became too much to handle.
But Abigail, the mother of former beauty queen Adaeze Yobo, has suggested her estranged husband is deluded and says she does not take him seriously
The glamorous socialite, a qualified lawyer and mother-in-law to former Nigerian football captain Joseph Yobo, paints a very different picture of the split.
And she says that she is not angry with him - only with herself for ever agreeing to marry him in the first place.
The couple's bitter divorce is set to play out in the high court in Abuja, Nigeria.
Fashanu says police are now investigating his allegations that his wife attacked him and says officers are trying to retrieve more than £3,300 in stolen cash from her.
Speaking to the Sunday People, he also claimed that she is obsessed with money, admitted she probably couldn't stand the sight of him and expressed regret at ever meeting her.
TV career: After retiring from football he hosted the popular 1990s TV show Gladiators for seven years alongside Ulrika Jonsson
Theft allegations: The father of five (pictured presenting Gladiators) has also accused his wife of stealing thousands of pounds in cash from their marital home in Nigeria
Fashanu, who is 6ft 2in, was born in London to a Guyanan nurse, Pearl, and Nigerian barrister, Patrick.
After they broke up he spent time in a Barnado's home and later lived with a foster family in Norfolk.
His football career included spells at Aston Villa and Millwall - and he won the FA cup with Wimbledon's Crazy Gang in 1988 two years after joining the club.
That same year he suffered heartbreak when his brother Justin, Britain's first openly gay professional footballer, hanged himself in London.
After the suicide, Fashanu expressed regret for disowning Justin because of his homosexuality - but later claimed he did not believe Justin was genuinely gay.
After retiring from football he hosted popular 1990s TV show Gladiators for seven years alongside Ulrika Jonsson.
He was also a contestant in ITV's I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here in 2003.
Fashanu's first marriage to Ivory Coast model Melissa Kassa-Mapsi ended in divorce in 2004.
He regularly carries out charity work and is currently a UN Ambassador for Nigeria, a former Unicef goodwill ambassador for 53 African countries and a former board member of the Nigeria Football Association.
His first wife: Fashanu's first marriage to Ivory Coast model Melissa Kassa-Mapsi (pictured together above) ended in divorce in 2004