blake jenner

Blake Jenner Breaks Silence on Melissa Benoist's Domestic Violence Claims

Blake Jenner alleged Melissa Benoist also abused him during their marriage, but apologized to the star for his actions, including throwing an iPhone at her face

In this Sept. 17, 2016, file photo, actors Melissa Benoist and Blake Jenner attend the "The Edge of Seventeen" premiere held at Roy Thomson Hall during the Toronto International Film Festival in Toronto, Canada.
Jeremychanphotography/WireImage via Getty Images

Blake Jenner addressed ex-wife Melissa Benoist's accusations of domestic violence, and claimed he also experienced abuse during their marriage.

In the lengthy statement posted to his Instagram on Thursday, the actor wrote that in the 11 months since the actress went public with her claims, he's reflected on their time together, explaining that he stayed silent "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," he wrote.

Jenner went on to explain that his marriage to Benoist was filled with "moments of jealousy, bouts of insecurity, and volatility," which he claimed was caused by broken childhoods.

Jenner then added that he wanted to divorce Benoist, but chose not to out of a sense of obligation.

"Even in those moments where I was determined to leave because it would have been the healthier choice, I felt as though I couldn't leave when someone I loved was asking me to stay. It was a relationship with a foundation rooted in co-dependency, which had dire consequences," he said.

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Jenner added that he takes "full responsibility and accountability" for being "emotionally, mentally and yes, physically" abusive towards the "Supergirl" star. He confirmed he did throw his phone at Benoist, but claimed that it was done so "in a moment of frustration" and that he threw it "aimlessly."

"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," he said. "It's a moment that I will regret for the rest of my life. She sat there crying and I can only imagine the pain, fear, and shame she must have felt in that moment. If I could do anything to take it back, I would.

"However, as hard as it has been to come to terms with it and as hard as it is for me to even describe that moment in detail now, whatever the intention may have been I am responsible for the pain that I caused her in that moment and beyond. And it is something I am still working on forgiving myself for."

He wrote that it's "important" to share his account of their time together because he claims Benoist "inflicted" pain on him as well.

"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."

The star went on to claim "there was mental, emotional and physical abuse inflicted from both ends," writing that he and Benoist consulted with a therapist on how to end the "toxic cycle" they were stuck in.

But they never broke the cycle, with Jenner blaming Benoist for beginning the "mental and emotional abuse."

"I was made to pass on numerous jobs and opportunities because of jealousy of perspective [sic] female co-stars. I was discouraged from and threatened to not develop relationships with and take photos with female co-stars at professional events. Threats and derogatory comments were made regarding female colleagues I had worked or was working with," he alleged. "I was made to feel guilty for working as I received calls from my former partner while I was away, threatening self-harm out of depression and a deep-seated feat [sic] of abandonment."

He also claimed Benoist "scratched," "slapped" and "punched" him on numerous occasions, forcing him to "conceal and make up lies about many visible injuries." Jenner also alleged that he "was physically assaulted in the shower, leaving me with a traumatic injury that I do not want to delve into at this time."

As for Benoist account, he claimed there are "discrepancies" in her version of events. However, he stated he wouldn't discuss these details out of respect for his ex and to avoid further discussion on the topic, stating, "That is the last thing I believe anyone wants."

He returned to his motivations for speaking out now, almost a year later, explaining that this is part of his healing process.

"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," he said. "This is something that I feel as though many people do not understand: I want her to heal, but I, too want heal--and I chose to believe that the two are not mutually exclusive. And I think that has probably been one of the most difficult things to navigate because it feels as though my voice no longer matters, Ultimately, however, I want to be the man that I know I can be, extending empathy onto others, and living a life of forgiveness. For others. And for myself."

Jenner concluded his statement by once again apologizing to Benoist.

"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.

"After nearly four years since we parted ways, I can unequivocally say that I know who I am and know that I have grown and learned from the mistakes I have made throughout a long period of self-examination and work, but very much understand that I can always learn and continually grow; and I know that is not a lone journey."

E! News reached out to Benoist's rep for comment but has not heard back.

The CW star previously recalled her experience with domestic abuse in Nov. 2019, but did not name her abuser. Instead, she described her former partner as being younger than her and quite mature.

Like Jenner, she alleged that she was manipulated and isolated from friends during the course of her relationship. However, she claimed things turned violent.

"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," she said. "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."

She also recalled the time he allegedly threw his iPhone at her eye, which she said motivated her to leave him once and for all.

"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."

After divorcing Jenner in 2016, Benoist married "Supergirl" co-star Chris Wood. They welcomed their first child together this summer.

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