Blake Jenner shared a six-page note to his 265,000 followers on Instagram on October 8. In his lengthy letter, the actor addresses “a personal situation made public in late-2019,” which is exactly when his ex-wife, Supergirl star Melissa Benoist, went public with her story as a survivor of domestic violence.
Jenner, 28, turned off the comments on his Instagram post, but Twitter quickly went viral with responses to the claims made in his letter. While the What/If star issues an apology for his actions, he also details the abuse he endured during this tumultuous relationship.
Jenner 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,” and described a particular fight which “escalated” into violence.
Jenner said he threw his “phone aimlessly and hit my former partner in her face. I froze in a state of shock and horror as my then-partner screamed in anguish, her eye immediately swollen shut from the impact of the phone. It’s a moment that I will regret for the rest of my life.”
“Without absolving myself of any responsibility,” Jenner continues, “it’s important to understand that there was mental, emotional and physical abuse inflicted on both ends.”
Jenner Claims His Ex-Partner Beat Him, Threatened Self-Harm & Forced Him to Pass On Jobs Out of Jealousy
While Jenner doesn’t explicitly name Benoist in the letter, the timing of the relationship he describes matches up with their marriage. The couple met in 2013 while co-stars on the show, Glee,got engaged in 2014, and tied the knot in 2015. In 2017, Jenner and Benoist divorced. On page 3 of his letter, Jenner details the violence he received during this time period:
The mental and emotional abuse began at the start of our relationship. I was made to pass on numerous jobs and opportunities because of jealousy of prospective female co-stars. I was discouraged from and threatened not to develop relationships with and take photos with female co-stars at professional events… I was made to feel guilty for working as I received calls from my former partner while I was away, threatening to self-harm out of depression and a deep-seated fear of abandonment.
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 want to delve into at this time.
Benoist Admitted to ‘Fighting Back’ During Her Violent Relationship
On November 27, 2019, Benoist, who’s now married to actor Chris Wood, and recently welcomed their first child, opened up about suffering in a violent relationship in an Instagram video, and admitted to hitting back. She said:
The stark truth is I learned what it felt like to be pinned down and slapped repeatedly, punched so hard the wind was knocked out of me, dragged by my hair across pavement, head-butted, pinched until my skin broke, shoved into a wall so hard the drywall broke, choked. I learned to lock myself in rooms but quickly stopped because the door was inevitably broken down. I learned to not value any of my property — replaceable and irreplaceable. I learned not to value myself.
“I have changed and I’m not proud of how I changed,” Benoist continued. “I became a person I could have never imagined lurked inside of me. I was livid at what was happening and that fact that I was allowing it to out of the fear of failure. I experienced firsthand that violence begets violence. I started fighting back because rage is contagious.”
Benoist, 32, also described the violent phone incident. 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.”
“This is an injury that’s never going to fully heal, my vision is never going to be the same,” Benoist continued. “Whatever I thought love was, it certainly wasn’t what I had been going through. I was so tired of living the way I had been living, but it felt too late to get out. Would it be safe to leave?”
Jenner’s Instagram Post Caused a Heated Debate & The Hashtag ‘I Stand With Melissa’ to Trend on Twitter
While The Edge of Seventeen star closed his letter with an apology to his then-partner, writing, “I am sorry. There many things that I wish I could have done differently; and while I wish it did take the pain that was suffered throughout the course of our relationship, I will never regress to making the same mistakes ever again,” — thousands of Twitter members called Jenner out for gaslighting Benoist.
blake jenner: i apologise for my actions… but here’s a whole list of reasons why i’m not to blame and will gaslight the woman i hurt even more
a disgusting human being.
— jade ☾ (@marisasbailey) October 8, 2020
Blake Jenner's former partner already mentioned in her statement she FOUGHT BACK only & ONLY when HE instigated the violence.
Stop twisting the narrative to fit your agenda.
Stop trying to gain sympathy by blatant lies.
Stop blaming the victim.
— T ♡ (@aGHOSTappeared) October 8, 2020
Not blake jenner trying to spin the narrative against melissa
— Heather Renee (@heatherrrrz) October 8, 2020
Not Blake Jenner trying to blame Melissa for the abuse HE inflicted on her I am disgusted
— Recyclops (@bherrera125) October 8, 2020
On Thursday, many of the Supergirl star’s fans took her side, tweeting #IStandWithMelissa, while others respected Jenner speaking his side of the story. Some Twitter members compared this former couple’s issues to the tumultuous divorce and accusations flung between Johnny Depp and his ex, Amber Heard.
Blake Jenner's statement is very interesting & also very mature. It seems like both him & Melissa were very broken people who became too dependant on their relationship & that caused violent arguments where both of them hurt each other. I'm just glad they both got out of it ok.💞
— Siobhan #ArrowverseFangirl 🇬🇬 (@slinehan1) October 8, 2020
One person tweeted, “blake jenner’s “apology” is the perfect example of what an abuser would say. it’s been months since melissa shared her story & exactly when she announces she’s had her baby and is at her happiest, this man decides to talk and lie about the matter. this man has no shame at all.”