Personal and professional struggles
Sellers had a difficult personal life. He often clashed with actors and directors, including a strained relationship with friend and director Blake Edwards, with whom he worked on the Pink Panther series and The Party. The two sometimes stopped speaking to each other during filming.
Sellers's personality was described by others as difficult and demanding. His behaviour caused physical and emotional hurt to others, notably his first three wives and his children. As portrayed in the film The Life and Death of Peter Sellers, he told his seven-year-old son Michael that he thought that his mother, Anne Howe, was having an affair, around the time that the couple divorced. Sellers is known to have assaulted Britt Ekland, prompted by unsubstantiated jealousy. On occasion however, Sellers blamed himself for his failed marriages. In a 1974 Parkinson interview, he admitted that "I'm not easy to live with". He explained that the divorce from Howe had been due to a romance with "someone I worked with", suggesting that it had been Sophia Loren, as indicated by Sellers playfully humming their mutual single hit "Goodness Gracious Me", when asked by Parkinson about the purported affair. In an interview on Canadian television, in 1958, he was asked: "You have played so many very different characters:who is the real Peter Sellers?" he paused, tears came visibly to his eyes, he lowered and shook his head and said, "I . . . don't really know."