“Supergirl” star Melissa Benoist on Wednesday accused an unnamed ex of repeated acts of domestic violence, including an incident in which she said he threw a phone at her face that tore her iris, lacerated her skin and broke her nose.
“I am a survivor of domestic violence, or IPV, intimate partner violence, which is something I never in my life expected I would say, let alone be broadcasting into the ether,” the actress read aloud in a 14-minute video posted to her Instagram account, which you can view above.
Around the 9-minute mark in the video, Benoist details an experience in which she said her former partner threw his iPhone at her face. “The impact tore my iris, nearly ruptured my eyeball, lacerated my skin and broke my nose,” she said. “My left eye swelled shut, I had a fat lip, blood was coursing down my face and I can remember immediately screaming at the top of my lungs.”
Benoist said she was scheduled to do reshoots on a film the next day and she and her partner “panicked” and made up a “flimsy story,” which she then told to emergency room doctors and police officers. “This is an injury that’s never going to fully heal. My vision is never going to be the same,” she added.
Earlier in the video, around 4:40 minutes in, The CW star detailed other violent acts she said her ex committed against her: “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.”
Benoist said the abuse began about five months into her relationship with the man when he threw a smoothie in her face, adding that she did not reveal the abuse out of “shame” and “for fear of more attacks.”
At no point does Benoist name the man she is accusing of domestic violence, nor does she give a timeline as to when their relationship occurred, but she does describe him as younger than her: “He was a magnanimous person who didn’t really give you a choice not to be drawn to him. He could be charming, funny, manipulative, devious. He was younger than me and his immaturity obvious, and for a period of time I wasn’t interested. I was newly single and gaining my bearings in a period of change in my life, making dumb decisions. But in the midst of that, he became a friend, a friend that made me laugh and feel less alone, made me feel special and worthwhile. And then once we started dating, it was a zero-to-60 catapult.”
Benoist, 31, was previously married to actor and former “Glee” co-star Blake Jenner, 27. She filed for divorce from Jenner in December 2016, citing “irreconcilable differences,” and the divorce was finalized in December 2017. In September, she married “Supergirl” co-star Chris Wood, 31.
Representatives for Benoist declined to comment when asked directly if the actress was referring to Jenner in her video. Jenner’s reps did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.
In a March 2016 “Tonight Show” interview with Jimmy Fallon, Benoist said she had torn her iris in a freak accident after slipping down some stairs and hitting her eye on a potted plant. “I looked like Squirt from ‘Finding Nemo,'” she joked at the time about what she described as her klutzy behavior.
Benoist also went into detail in her new video about her former partner, whom she indicated was also in the industry and showed extreme jealousy toward her male co-stars. “He didn’t want me ever kissing or even having flirtatious scenes with men, which was very hard for me to avoid, so I began turning down auditions, job offers, test deals and friendships, because I didn’t want to hurt him,” she said.
The CW star said that early on in her relationship with the unnamed man, “it felt very good how much he coveted me, how much he seemed to treasure who I was.”
She added, “He loved me, I thought I loved him, and I was going to make it work. The abuse was not violent at first, at first it reared its head at me under the guise of common dysfunction coming from his insecurity and depression.”
Benoist said that she finally left her unnamed partner after a friend asked her if she was a victim of domestic violence. “I had to get out, and I took careful steps to leave him as quickly as our relationship had sped into my life,” Benoist said. “Leaving was not a walk in the park, it is not an event, it’s a process. I felt complicated feelings of guilt for leaving and for hurting someone I had protected for so long and, yes, mournful feelings of leaving something that was so familiar.”
She added: “I choose to love. I don’t choose to minimize my life out of fear. I choose to love myself, to know that love does not include violence and to let victims know there is a way out in which you will be protected. If you are enduring what I went through and you see this maybe you will find this tiny straw that will break the camel’s back.”
“You can and deserve to live a violence-free life,” she said.