Fraiser star Kelsey Grammer says his marriage to his wife of 13 years Camille Donatacci had become like a jail sentence.

The couple wed in 1997 but the marriage began to fall apart in 2010 after Grammer helped land Camille a nspot on US reality show The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, just before heading to New York for a stint on Broadway.

He later left her for his current wife Kayte Walsh.

The pair's break-up played out in the media, and now the actor even refuses to mention his former wife's name.

However, he did discuss their tumultuous relationship during an interview on Oprah's Next Chapter, which aired in America last Sunday. He said, "It's not good, but we have an arrangement with the children . . . that I'm fairly happy with . . . I don't want to say a lot of bad things, but some very bad things were said, some threats were made, and some extremely unacceptable behaviour took place in front of the children, which makes it impossible for us to pretend we can be civil.

“My only sadness is actually about the kids, they've heard a lot of things, they've been dealing with a lot of things and they're still told a lot of things, on a daily basis, that aren't true".

Grammer says that the only reason their marriage lasted 13 years was because he was too lazy and too hopeless to go through with the legal proceedings.

He adds, "I stayed because I was stubborn. I was not in it, or happy in it, for a long, long time. It pretty much was over, as soon as it began . . . I thought it was kind of a self-imposed sentence, like I had been sentenced to it in a weird way, by myself. Getting out, the promise of something different, didn't exist".