Blake Jenner Takes “Full Responsibility” For Melissa Benoist’s Abuse, One Full Year Later

Photo: Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images.
Last November, Melissa Benoist, known for playing the titular role in The CW's Supergirl, revealed that she is a survivor of domestic violence. Nearly a year later, Blake Jenner has released a statement confirming that he abused his ex-wife.
“Over the past eleven months, I have been thinking about how to address a personal situation made public in late-2019," Jenner wrote in a lengthy post on Instagram. "Throughout that time, I reflected on a period in my life that I had previously kept in the darkness out of shame and fear, but I know this is something that needs to be addressed, not just publicly, but also privately with the individual directly affected and with myself."
In an Instagram video last year, Benoist detailed the years of emotional and physical abuse she suffered at the hands of an unnamed partner, who she said was younger than her. In the 14-minute video, she explained how the abuse escalated, how she felt she herself needed to be violent in order to fight back, and how it dissolved all other relationships she had with friends and family. She and Jenner initially met on Glee in 2013, got married in 2015, and finalized their divorce in 2017. In 2019, she re-married her Supergirl co-star Chris Wood, and in March 2020, she announced that they're expecting a baby.
In his statement, Jenner talked about this relationship with Benoist that he says turned "toxic," and that in the four years after they've separated, he's been going to work on his "personal issues" with a therapist.
“When I was 20 years old, I met a woman and we fell in love. I didn’t realize the magnitude of it back then, but in retrospect, as great as the love that was shared between us, the shared brokenness that stemmed from our childhoods proved to be greater. The passion between us would take us both to some of the most joyous highs, but also to moments of jealousy, bouts of insecurity, and volatility. ... It was a relationship with a foundation rooted in co-dependency, which had dire consequences. We were both young and left so much of our brokenness to fester for too long,” he wrote.
“I take full responsibility and accountability for the hurt that I inflicted during my relationship with my past partner—emotionally, mentally and yes, physically,” Jenner continued.
Jenner did, however, make a point to not completely absolve himself from blame: "I also do believe that when allegations and information are brought forth about someone, that accountability goes both ways and one has a right to defend oneself when deemed necessary," he wrote. While he wrote that he doesn't want to get into a "she-said-he-said mudslinging match," he accused Benoist of emotional and physical abuse as well.
"I think what I’m trying to get at is that this relationship—in all of its toxicity and turbulence—was the product of two broken people over the span of years," Jenner wrote.
At the end of the post, which the actor called "his truth," he claimed that he's "grown and learned from the mistakes [he has] made throughout a long period of self-examination and work," and that he was putting the statement out with the hope that it would help others suffering from domestic violence in silence.
"I hope that by me sharing my story, that it can help people, in some capacity, to reflect, listen, and emerge from the shame and secrecy of abuse."
If you are experiencing domestic violence, please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or TTY 1-800-787-3224 for confidential support.

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