Meredith Baxter, best known for her role in 80s sitcom Family Ties, has revealed she has been in a relationship with a woman for four years.

The actress, who played Elyse Keaton in the show, told the Today programme that she realised seven years ago that she was attracted to women.

Baxter, 62, denied that she had hiding her sexuality for years.

She said: “Some people would say, well, you’re living a lie and, you know, the truth is – not at all. This has only been for the past seven years.

“I got involved with someone I never expected to get involved with, and it was that kind of awakening,” she said.

“I never fought it because it was like, oh, I understand why I had the issues I had early in life. I had a great deal of difficulty connecting with men in relationships.”

Baxter revealed that she has been with Nancy Locke, a building contractor, for the last four years.

Their relationship was kept under wraps until recently, when the National Enquirer and celebrity blogger Perez Hilton speculated that Baxter was a lesbian.