Melissa Benoist's Ex-spouse Blake Jenner Admits to Hurting Her — inside Their Short Marriage
"Glee" actor Blake Jenner admitted to hurting ex-wife Melissa Benoist during their short marriage, and tendered a belated apology for his behavior in what he described as a "toxic relationship."
"Supergirl" Actress Melissa Benoist had revealed in an Instagram post that she had been a victim of domestic abuse at the hands of a partner she did not name but described as "younger."
Now, her ex-husband, "Glee" actor Blake Jenner has opened up about their relationship which he describes as "toxic," admitted to his violence, and apologized to Benoist for hurting her, physically and emotionally.
Jenner's apologetic Instagram post is clearly a response to Benoist's 2019 video, titled "Life Isn’t Always What It Seems," in which she emotionally describes the abuse to which she was subjected.
The list includes a particularly harrowing incident during which her then-husband had thrown his phone in her face. As a result, Benoist suffered from severe lacerations, a broken nose, and a torn iris.
At that time, Benoist covered up the abuse, claiming on “Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon” that she had hit her eye on a plant. Benoist admitted that out of shame and fear, she hid the abuse she was suffering.
"Something inside of me broke, this was too far."
Since her 2017 divorce, Benoist has remarried to actor Chris Wood, and the couple welcomed their first child in 2020. Wood has been supportive of Benoist's determination to help other women who are going through the same horrific abuse experience.
Jenner has now reached out and apologized to his ex for the pain -- physical and emotional -- that he caused her. In his six-page post, Jenner spoke openly about the shame and the fear he felt after his secret was exposed.
Even though Jenner did apologize for throwing his iPhone at Benoist, he then went on to share out the guilt and the blame with his ex, whom he claims had also injured him seriously
SHARING THE PAIN
Jenner attributes the underlying rage and insecurity that led to his abuse of Benoist to a complicated childhood that led to "brokenness." It was jealousy, he claims, that led to his destructive outbursts.
Jenner then goes on to claim that he too suffered physical abuse at Benoist's hands and that his own career suffered from her jealousy and emotional outbursts. He wrote:
"I was made to pass on numerous jobs and opportunities because of jealousy of prospective female costars."
Even though Jenner did apologize for throwing his iPhone at Benoist, he then went on to share out the guilt and the blame with his ex, whom he claims had also injured him seriously. He wrote:
"I was physically assaulted in the shower, leaving me with a traumatic injury that I do not want to delve into at this time."
Jenner vacillates between owning up for the abuse and apologizing to his ex-wife and justifying his own actions, and the damage he caused.
Jenner claims to have pondered on how to respond to the "accusations" and whether or not he should reveal the abuse he allegedly suffered at Benoist's hands. He wrote:
"I also do believe(...) that accountability goes both ways and one has a right to defend oneself when deemed necessary."
Jenner ended his statement by apologizing to domestic violence victims for any pain his story might have brought back for them, and identifies himself first and foremost as a victim, who was violent in retaliation. He wrote:
"I stand with you as a victim myself, I repent for the abuse I inflicted as an aggressor myself."
A MARRIAGE MADE IN HELL
Benoist revealed that the abuse had started on an emotional level even before the wedding and that five months into the marriage, had escalated to full-blown violence. In order to escape from an enraged Jenner, Benoist would lock herself in their room. She confessed:
"I (...) quickly stopped because the door was inevitably broken down. I learned to not value any of my property (...) I learned not to value myself."
The couple had met in 2012 on the set of "Glee," and Benoist had initially rejected the younger Jenner as too immature, but the two became friends. The ostensibly charming Jenner pursued her relentlessly, and Benoist eventually agreed to date him, which culminated in a secret wedding.
Benoist defined the violence as escalating from emotional to physical abuse and revealed that her own acceptance of the developing situation is something she cannot understand even now.
Every outburst would end in tearful apologies from Jenner, and Benoist would forgive him, excusing his violence by recalling the pain he had suffered in his past. Like so many victims of domestic violence, Benoist fell into depression and shielded her abuser with lies.
Jenner's partial and conditional apology is at odds with Benoist's testimony and could be construed as more of a justification of his own behavior. Due to the injury to her eye, Benoist's vision is permanently impaired.
Happy Thanksgiving! I’m going to kiss my wife and hold her tenderly. All day. And every day. How do YOU show love? #IStandWithMelissa— Chris Wood (@CHRIStophrWOOD) November 28, 2019
She finally came out in public, in the hope that her own ordeal will help other women face their situation, and find the strength to leave, and start a new life.
Benoist has now been happily married to her "Supergirl" costar, Chris Wood since 2009, and her new life now includes a newborn son, Huxley Robert Wood.
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