In the 14-minute video, she said she never expected to say that she was a victim of domestic violence or IPV. Throughout the video, she recounts a story with an unnamed man who abused her.
UPDATE: Supergirl executive producers Sarah Schechter and Greg Berlanti have issued a statement of support.
— Sarah Schechter (@SarahSoWitty) November 28, 2019
Benoist said the man was younger than her and started as a friend. They started dating because he made her feel “special and worthwhile”. But as soon as they started dating, Benoist said it was a “zero to 60 catapult”. She said she was unsure what she was getting into.
“It’s still hard for me to dissect what I was thinking and feeling that kept me from stopping what felt like a runaway freight train,” she said. She added that this stemmed from her childhood and her non-violent broken home.
Benoist said that the abuse was not violent at first and that it came from his “insecurity and depression”. She went into detail about how he would get jealous, check her devices, was emotionally manipulative, how he criticized what she wore and how he got angry when she spoke to other men. She also talked about how the relationship started affecting her work.
“Work, in general, was a touchy subject,” she said. “He didn’t want me ever kissing or even having flirtatious scenes with men.” Because of this, she said she began turning down auditions, job offers, test deals and friendships because she didn’t want to hurt him.
The first physical altercation was when he threw a smoothie at her face and from there it escalated. “I learned what it felt like to be pinned down and slapped repeatedly, punched so hard I felt the wind go out of me, dragged by my hair across pavement, head-butted, pinched until my skin broke, slammed against he wall so hard the drywall broke, choked,” she said.
Benoist said she developed a good “poker face” making people think everything was okay but admitted that deep inside she was the ugliest version of herself. She stayed in the relationship for fear of what would happen to him.
There was one incident that changed everything. He threw an iPhone at her and tore her iris and broke her nose. The injuries were too severe for her to hide, so they made up an excuse that she fell. When she went to the emergency room, she told the doctors and nurses the same thing, but the severity of the injuries was a turning point for her.
Shortly after, one of her friends visited her and Benoist admitted that he was abusing her. “Leaving was not a walk in a park. It’s not an event — it’s a process,” she said.
She concludes, “None of this is salacious news, it was my reality. What I went through caused a tectonic shift in my outlook on life.” Benoist is currently married to Chris Wood, but has been linked to photographer Nick Vorderman and was married to Blake Jenner.
Benoist also shared statistics about domestic violence and IPV on her Instagram account. She also posted resources so that those who are victims of it can get help.
“The long and winding road of healing and reconciliation has brought me to this moment where I feel strong enough to talk about my experience openly, honestly and without shame,” she wrote. “By sharing my story, hopefully I can empower others to seek help and extricate themselves from abusive relationships. Everyone deserves to be loved void of violence, fear and physical harm.”
Watch the video below.
A post shared by Melissa Benoist (@melissabenoist) on Nov 27, 2019 at 11:30am PST
The long and winding road of healing and reconciliation has brought me to this moment where I feel strong enough to talk about my experience openly, honestly and without shame. By sharing my story, hopefully I can empower others to seek help and extricate themselves from abusive relationships. Everyone deserves to be loved void of violence, fear and physical harm. @futureswithoutviolence
A post shared by Melissa Benoist (@melissabenoist) on Nov 27, 2019 at 11:34am PST