Post her divorce from Blake Jenner and later marriage to Chris Wood, actor Melissa Benoist opened up in 2019 about her experiences. On September 2020, the couple welcomed their first child, a son. About a month later, Blake Jenner told his side of the story, apologising for his actions. He also said a few more things, suggesting he was not the sole abuser.
The Marriage That Ended
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Blake Jenner and Melissa Benoist worked together on the sets of Glee. It was reported that they got married in 2015. Benoist however, said that they were married for a longer time than anybody knew. In 2017, the couple got divorced on the grounds of irreconcilable differences.
Benoist later married her Supergirl co star Chris Wood on September 2019. She helped Wood with the launching of his website ‘I Don’t Mind’, a campaign which addressed the stigma around mental illnesses, depression, and anxiety. She gave birth to her son Huxley on September 2020.
When Melissa Spoke Out
On November 2019, the Supergirl actor spoke on Instagram TV that she was a victim of IPV (Intimate Partner Violence). Benoist said that she was punched, slapped, pinned, and dragged among the different forms of abuse. She also mentioned without naming her partner, that he threw a phone on her face, causing her an eye injury. Moreover, she had to refuse a number of roles as well because of her partner’s insecurities.
In the video, she later says that the abuse changed her in the way she was not proud of. She felt intense anger and had to fight back, and lock herself behind doors to protect herself. Her confession was immediately reciprocated by fans. #istandwithmelissa went viral on the internet, which she thanked for.
What Does Blake Jenner Say?
On October 2020, eleven months after Benoist shared her experiences, Blake Jenner reached out to people on Instagram, as a response. In his long post, he talked about marrying a woman, realizing that their broken childhoods were more powerful than the love they shared. He admitted to throw the phone aimlessly out of frustration, which he greatly regretted and wished it never happened.
Jenner later said that the mental, emotional, and physical abuse happened from both sides. Despite seeking therapy, the relationship stayed toxic. He told that the abuse began from the start, explaining that he had to reject jobs out of his partner’s jealousy for his prospective co stars.
He also was stopped from developing relationships and taking photos with them at events. His partner made threats to self-harm and derogatory comments regarding his female co stars. Apart from this, he was punched and scratched too, including a broken nose. Jenner also talked about getting assaulted in the shower, without disclosing his injury.
Jenner finally closed on apologising for his behaviour, vowing to never repeat them. He wished well for his partner’s family. Neither Benoist nor Wood have responded to his statement.
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