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Matthew Newton: 'I don't know why'

Actor Matthew Newton has opened up about his violent behaviour in a Channel 9 interview for 60 Minutes.

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Actor Matthew Newton has opened up about his violent past, saying his outbursts were provoked by a "wave of terror" and "hopelessness".

The troubled star said his erratic behaviour was also brought on by his mental illness and a feeling that he was "about to die".

"That's when I end up running out of options, feeling like I don't know what to do," he told the Nine Network.

"I was put in the back of the police car and I realised I was completely alone" ... Matthew Newton.

"I was put in the back of the police car and I realised I was completely alone" ... Matthew Newton. Photo: Simon Alekna

Newton, 36, was charged with the assault of his former girlfriend, Australian actress Brooke Satchwell, in 2007.

In 2010, he allegedly assaulted his then-fiancee, actress Rachael Taylor, in the lobby of a hotel in Italy.

Newton was also charged with the assault of a taxi driver in Sydney in 2011.

The actor said he knew he hit "rock bottom" when he was arrested for hitting a hotel clerk in the face in Miami, USA, last year.

"I was put in the back of the police car and I realised I was completely alone. I realised there were two choices: there was help, there was honestly opening myself up and asking for help, or there was nothing, there was the end," he said.

Newton also admitted he had never been given an official diagnosis on his mental illness, despite repeatedly avoiding conviction on the grounds of mental health, specifically bipolar disorder.

He said he was completely at fault for assaults on his former girlfriends.

"It's never okay to hit someone," he said.

The actor stressed that he's on the mend and is working through his issues without being on "addictive" medication which he had been using to help with his mental illness.

"I'm now doing everything in my human power to make sure that any events of the past don't occur again."

Newtown is hopeful of getting back to acting and said offers of work in America and Australia were re-emerging.

"I want, in the second half of my life, to be an exemplary citizen, a successful professional and one day a really good parent."

AAP