Melissa Benoist's ex-husband Blake Jenner apologizes for domestic violence, says he was abused, too
Blake Jenner breaks his silence almost a year after his ex-wife, "Glee" alum Melissa Benoist, came forward as a domestic violence survivor.
On Thursday, Jenner shared a lengthy statement on Instagram describing a previous marriage that he believes was "rooted in addiction, with dire consequences". Benoist and Jenner married in 2015 and Benoist filed for divorce in December 2016.
Although Jenner did not name Benoist directly in his statement, he began his post by saying that he wanted to address "a personal situation that was made public in late 2019". In November 2019, Benoist posted a nearly 15-minute Instagram video describing how she was physically abused by a former partner.
USA TODAY has contacted Jenner and Benoist representatives for additional comments.
In his testimony, Jenner admitted physically injuring a previous partner.
"I take full responsibility and responsibility for the damage I have done in my relationship with my former partner - emotionally, mentally and yes, physically," he wrote, recalling one particular argument that escalated to violence.
Blake Jenner shared a lengthy statement on Instagram Thursday describing one of his previous marriages, which he believes were "rooted in interdependence with dire consequences". Melissa Benoist and Jenner married in 2015 and filed for divorce in December 2016.
"In a moment of frustration when I was standing in the hallway and she was in our bedroom, I threw my phone aimlessly and it hit my former partner in her face," he wrote. "I froze in a state of shock and horror when my then-partner screamed in fear. Her eye swelled immediately before the phone hit. It's a moment I will regret for the rest of my life."
In her 2019 Instagram video, Benoist described being hit in the face with an iPhone and said the impact "tore my iris, nearly cracked my eyeball, injured my skin and broke my nose".
"It wasn't easy to hide, let alone fix, and something broke inside me," she said. "That was too far ... This is an injury that will never fully heal. My vision will never be the same. Emotionally, I was done. I had a strong feeling that whatever love was, it was certainly not what I've been through. "
According to Jenner, the telephone incident is "something I am still working on to forgive myself".
Jenner added that therapy had addressed his past trauma as well as the pain from that relationship. He wrote that many of his problems were based on "a false sense of manhood" and "false conceptions of manhood instilled in me from birth".
"None of these are meant to be used as an excuse, but are insights I have had throughout my healing and reckoning process with everything that was going on in this relationship as well as in my life," he added.
But Jenner also claims it was "mental, emotional and physical abuse inflicted on both sides," and wrote that he was "forced to hand over numerous jobs and opportunities because he was jealous of potential female co-stars."
"I was discouraged and threatened not to develop relationships with female co-stars and take pictures with them at professional events," he continued. "Threats and derogatory comments were made on colleagues I had worked with or with whom I had worked. I felt guilty when I received calls from my former partner in my absence threatening to break out of depression and a deep To hurt self-harm. " -sitting fear of abandonment. "
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Jenner added that he was also physically abused by his partner.
"I got scratched," he wrote. "I was beaten. I was slapped in the face, resulting in hospitalization to treat my broken nose. I too had to hide lies about many visible injuries I suffered during the relationship and make up being physically assaulted in the shower, which leaves me with a traumatic injury that I don't want to get involved with at this point. "
Jenner ended his post with apologies to both his ex-partner and those reading his testimony, saying he has grown and learned from his mistakes.
"I stand with you as a victim myself, I regret the abuse I myself caused as an attacker, and I swear never to withdraw again to lose who I am ever again," he wrote.
In her 2019 video, Benoist did not name her perpetrator but described him as someone she met when she was newly single. She said the abuse she suffered from him led her to do things she was not proud of.
"I've changed and I'm not proud of how I've changed," she said. "I became a person I could never have imagined lurking inside of me because I was angry about what was happening and the fact that I let it in for fear of failure. I learned firsthand that violence creates violence. I started fighting back because anger is contagious. "
The actress said she started turning down job offers and auditions because she now raised concerns about her shooting scenes where she kissed or flirted with an on-screen co-star. She said his controlling comments were "alarmingly easy to excuse" at first because she was concerned about his own feelings.
"In retrospect, I see that every red flag has taken a very clear path on the way to doing something violent," she said. "Because violence so often comes from mental, emotional or psychological abuse, all of which are very sneaky things."
When the alleged physical abuse began, Benoist added, she did not speak “out of shame, fear of future attacks, reluctance to actually admit that something is happening”. She listed details of the abuse, including "nailed down and beaten repeatedly, beaten so badly that I felt the wind go out of me, dragged my hair across the sidewalk, bumped my head, pinched until my skin cracked like that." hit the wall hard. The drywall is clogged. "
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Something would "click" at some point, during which time her ex would recognize the pain it had caused and apologize enough to bring back an "appearance of a loving relationship," she said, adding that she thought she could him help change enough to see this violence wasn't the way to solve problems.
"I knew how he treated me was wrong, but I thought the consequences he would suffer if I exposed his behavior outweighed the suffering," she said.
Benoist said she knew she had to get out of the relationship, but felt so ostracized that she didn't think she could turn to anyone. But she said a friend came to see her soon after and suspected something was wrong. She asked Benoist if she was a victim of domestic violence.
"I cannot describe how much relief and comfort I felt," said Benoist. "She held me and said, 'You know what to do now, don't you?'"
"I had to get out," she continued. "And I took careful steps to get out of it as soon as our relationship got into my life. Leaving it wasn't a walk in the park. It's not an event, it's a process. I felt intricate guilt for being someone I had protected for so long and, yes, sad feelings to leave something so familiar. "
If you are a victim of domestic violence, you can use the national domestic violence hotline to speak in confidence to trained lawyers online or by calling (800-799-7233) who will recommend them for those who believe their online activities are being monitored by theirs Perpetrator. You can help survivors develop a plan to keep themselves and their children safe.
Contributor: Hannah Yasharoff
This article originally appeared in the US TODAY: Blake Jenner breaks the silence a year after Melissa Benoist's allegations
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