Melissa Benoist’s ex Blake Jenner takes ‘full responsibility’ for abusive actions
Nearly a year after “Supergirl” star Melissa Benoist shared accusations of domestic abuse, her ex-husband Blake Jenner issued a public apology to his former partner, though he did not identify her by name.
Jenner, 28, who costarred with Benoist in Ryan Murphy’s “Glee” in 2012, posted a lengthy statement Thursday on Instagram addressing their broken marriage and took “full responsibility and accountability for the hurt” he inflicted as the aggressor during their relationship.
However, without absolving himself, the “What/If” actor also lobbed new allegations and accused his ex-wife of abuse, and said he ultimately spoke up because he felt as though his voice no longer mattered.
“The most important apology extends — then and now — to my former partner. I am sorry,” he wrote, several paragraphs deep into the long post. “There are many things that I wish I could have done differently; and while I wish it did not take the pain that was suffered throughout the course of our relationship, I will never regress to making the same mistakes ever again. I will never stop doing the work necessary to better myself in all areas of my life. I wish you and your family nothing but good health, joy and love.”
In November 2019, Benoist spoke candidly about experiencing emotional and physical abuse in a past relationship that escalated from jealous snooping to violence in about five months. She described it as intimate partner violence and the pair ultimately began divorce proceedings in late 2016 after two years of marriage. (It was finalized in 2017.) Benoist, 32, has since remarried and welcomed her first child with her “Supergirl” costar Chris Wood over the summer.
Since the CW actress’ revelation, Jenner said that he reflected on their time together and how to address it, describing their volatile relationship as one of “shared brokenness that stemmed from our childhoods.”
“It was a relationship with a foundation rooted in co-dependency, which had dire consequences,” Jenner wrote. “We were both young and left so much of our brokenness to fester for too long.
“I take full responsibility and accountability for the hurt that I inflicted during my relationship with my past partner — emotionally, mentally and yes, physically,” he wrote.
The “Edge of Seventeen” actor went on to detail an argument between them that escalated, two years prior to the end of the relationship. He said that “in a moment of frustration,” he threw his phone at her face. That revelation lines up with Benoist’s 2019 account in which she said, “The impact tore my iris, nearly ruptured my eyeball, lacerated my skin and broke my nose. ... My left eye swelled shut. I had a fat lip. … Something inside of me broke, this was too far.”
“Supergirl” actress Melissa Benoist shared her story of being a survivor of intimate partner violence in a video posted to Instagram Wednesday.
Jenner added, “Without absolving myself of any responsibility, it is important to understand that there was mental, emotional and physical abuse inflicted from both ends.” He added that despite seeing a therapist together, they remained in a “toxic cycle”; he blamed a “false sense of masculinity” that he felt he needed to uphold.
“I have thought long and hard about whether or not to speak out about the pain that was inflicted onto me throughout the course of this relationship by my former partner; and I have come to the conclusion that yes, it is important for me to do so,” he added, citing his process of healing and personal reckoning.
“I also believe that when allegations and information are brought forth by someone, that accountability goes both ways and one has a right to defend oneself when deemed necessary.”
Jenner went on to accuse Benoist of jealousy, threats and derogatory comments about his female colleagues, and said that she threatened self-harm “out of depression and a deep-seated sense of abandonment.” He felt isolated and was allegedly prohibited from seeing friends for years, verbally and emotionally abused “for everything from the family I was born into to the clothes I would wear in photo shoots.”
Representatives for Benoist did not immediately respond to The Times’ requests for comment.
“I was scratched. I was slapped. I was punched in the face, which caused a trip to the hospital to treat my broken nose. I, too, have had to conceal and make up lies about many visible injuries I had incurred throughout the relationship. I was physically assaulted in the shower, leaving me with a traumatic injury that I do not want to delve into at this time,” he alleged.
He also cited discrepancies in Benoist’s recollections and the timeline of their relationship.
“In speaking about my experiences, I wish there was a way to convey that it is truly not my wish to drag her down in any way. This is something that I feel as though many people do not understand: I want her to heal, but I, too, want to heal — and I choose to believe that the two are not mutually exclusive,” he wrote.
Despite a large show of support for the actress on social media, neither she nor Wood has yet addressed Jenner’s remarks.
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