MANILA -- (UPDATED) Raymart Santiago will not have Claudine Barretto insinuating that he was the cause of bruises on her face, as seen in several photos of the "battered" actress released by her lawyer over the weekend.
In an e-mail to ABS-CBNnews.com on Tuesday, Santiago's camp shared five photos of Barretto wearing a headgear with bandages on her cheeks. The photos, courtesy of the actor, were supposedly taken during Holy Week of 2010.
An accompanying statement read: "Here is a truthful version of the recent Twitter post of a make-up tutorial to conceal bruises, perhaps even wounds and scars, with the allusion of the subject having been battered. The wounds and scars are definitely real, but how they were sustained is a different story altogether."
Photos courtesy of Raymart Santiago
Four of the photos show Barretto with Santiago at what appears to be a swimming pool area of a private residence. The former couple, whose separation was first reported in July 2013, are also seen with a number of companions, including Santiago's brother, singer-host Randy Santiago.
The captions of the photos read, unedited: "Battered wife?!? Seriously...?!? …Amidst these happy faces…?!?! ...Who would believe such a lie?? …About one happy battered wife…???"
The last photo, a close-up of Barretto's facial bruises covered with bandages, was captioned: "Before applying make-up, first make sure that the wounds from the post-surgical procedure have healed so the bandage can be safely removed."
Photo courtesy of Raymart Santiago
This was in reference to a series of photos posted on Twitter last Sunday by Barretto's legal counsel, Atty. Ferdinand Topacio, showing the actress apparently with bruises on her face, before and after applying makeup.
One photo, captioned "battered Claudine," shows Barretto with apparent contusions under her eyes. The second photo, according to Topacio, was taken after the actress applied concealer, making the bruises less visible.
An expressionless Barretto is shown in the third photo, this time with her hair curled and with full makeup on. "Now, look at how even a black-and-blue Claudine looks after make-up is done," Topacio said in the caption.
The lawyer did not say when the photos were taken.
But according to Santiago's camp, Topacio's last photo of a "finished product" was taken before Barretto's live guesting on the entertainment talk show "Showbiz Central" in April 2010.
The same three photos posted by Topacio, which were re-tweeted by Barretto on her own page, had different captions in Santiago's statement.
"Once the skin has healed, bandage is removed and the face is ready for make-up application. Honesty would also help… Tell the make-up artist how the discoloration was sustained so she would know what make-up to use."
"Apply concealer to hide the bruises under the eyes... and a nice warm blush to conceal the swelling on both cheeks... Finish it with fresh, light lipstick and voila! Subject is ready to shoot with a narrower face!"
Topacio's tweets were in response to a post on a gossip blog where photos of Barretto early this year were compared to a more recent one where she bared more scars allegedly from being a battered wife.
In a series of posts, Topacio said: "We are not making this up. The scars have been there all along. In conclusion, no woman would deliberately make herself ugly. Who inflicted them? I leave it to you guys. To all those who say maliciously that the wounds are a fabrication, may you suffer what Claudine has suffered."
Last week, Barretto had a photo shoot which showed several wounds on her thighs, among them burns supposedly from cigarette butts. Calling herself a "battered wife," the actress said the pictorial was to help others in a similar situation to speak up.
Dr. Acel Chicano, Barretto's attending wound care specialist, told reporters that the marks on the actress' thighs are hyperpigmented, meaning the wounds were not inflicted recently.
"Matagal nang nangyari iyon. Hindi iyon bago pa lang," she said.
Although Barretto did not identify who inflicted the wounds, she said the details are included in a complaint she had filed in connection with the Anti-Violence against Women and Their Children Act of 2004.
Barretto earlier accused Santiago of "physical, sexual, psychological and economic" abuse, supposedly dating back to 2002. These are detailed in her complaint against the actor for his alleged violation of the said law.
Santiago also alleged that he was a victim of domestic violence. In his complaint, the actor accused his wife of being mentally ill and having a history of drug abuse, claims backed by the actress' estranged siblings Gretchen, Marjorie, and JJ.
Court battle anew
Both Barretto and Santiago have repeatedly mentioned the welfare of their children -- 7-year-old Santino and 10-year-old Sabina -- in explaining why they took the spat to court, and why they are seeking sole custody of the kids.
In June, the former couple appeared to have patched things up when Barretto posted a photo of her with Santiago and their kids. This, after they reached an agreement concerning their children through a judicial dispute resolution.
Last July 14, however, Barretto exclusively told ABS-CBN News that she was planning to pull out from the agreement.
Barretto mentioned three reasons why she arrived at the decision, and why she is planning to sue her husband for "economical abuse" -- the recent statements of Santiago's lawyer, Atty. Ruth Castelo, about the ongoing legal battle, Santiago's supposed absence from their children's affairs, and his alleged unwillingness to fulfill his financial obligations.