Tyrese Gibson. Picture: AP

Tyrese Gibson has claimed he only married ex-wife Norma so she could stay in the country.

The 38-year-old actor insists he and Norma Gibson only tied the knot in 2007 because she was pregnant with their daughter Shayla, now 10, and he didn't want her to have to return to the UK as it would stop him enjoying "quality time" with the youngster.

Tyrese - who was recently granted joint custody of Shayla following a bitter custody dispute - said: "Now I could say to [Norma], 'Listen. Norma, I love you. I appreciate you. I appreciate what we did. We had an angel but I married you to keep you in the country. I never married you because I was happily married. You're from London. I married you because we had a baby on the way and I had to do whatever I had to do so that I'm not travelling all the way to London to spend quality time with my baby.' "

And the 'Fate and the Furious' star claimed the fact his wedding was "low key and quiet" proved it wasn't as genuine as his nuptials to Samantha Lee earlier this year.

In an interview on Hot 107.9 ATL's 'Ricky Smiley Morning Show', he said: "We got married and it was, like, seven people in it.

"Like, I am the most flashiest, most flamboyant dude other than Floyd Mayweather. I am the flashiest.

There is nothing about me that is low key and quiet. You know that I married her to keep her in the country. I am giving you all the scoop.

"So listen, I am married. I'm happily married and my career is thriving."

Tyrese also spoke about the allegations of abuse from Norma, insisting he only ever spanked Shayla once when he caught her lying, and another time when her mother asked him to.

He said of the allegations: "It was the randomest, craziest thing ever. It traumatised me forever."