NOTORIOUS prisoner Charles Bronson taunted his ex-wife Paula Williamson with hate mail branding her “fat” in the weeks before her death.
The former Corrie actress was found dead at her home in Stoke-on-Trent last Monday after a night out with friends.
It came just hours after Bronson had revealed he wanted to marry a pensioner called ‘Joan’ when he is freed.
The pair had filed for divorce in February having married behind bars at Wakefield Prison in November 2017.
Paula, 38, had battled problems with drug addiction, including a stint in rehab, in recent months.
Police are not treating her death as suspicious.
Bronson, 66 – who has been convicted of numerous violent offences – wants to be released from prison to attend Paula’s funeral after being left “shocked and upset” at her death.
But her pal Beverley Straker says his abusive messages had tormented the former actress in her final weeks.
She said After the divorce they were still talking. He was still in contact with Paula through letters and friends.
“He called her fat, which wouldn’t have helped her after her rehab.”
But Beverley dismissed claims that the news of Bronson’s plans to marry again after he was freed had played any part in Paula’s death.
She said: “I spoke to her on the phone on Sunday afternoon. She was in a good mood and sounded happy.
“I got a message on Monday saying she was dead. I thought ‘is this true?’ Then I went to Facebook and saw the stories.
I’ve been numb ever since. It’s awful. I’m just trying to put the pieces together. I’m in disbelief.”
Paula’s new boyfriend Pete Jones, 53, found the former soap actress unconscious on her bed in the early hours of Monday after he fell asleep on the downstairs sofa following a night out.
The truck driver said the couple, whom he said had “a very intimate, strong love”, had planned to exchange wedding vows in the Bahamas.