Gaslighting At Its Finest

Recently, Glee star Blake Jenner posted an “apology” on Instagram a year after ex- wife Melissa Benoist publicly spoke about her domestic violence experience.

Benoist posted a video on Instagram in November of last year, admitting to having experienced domestic violence first-hand from a former partner. Throughout the video, she kept their identity anonymous. Benoist went into as much detail as she could, considering her past trauma. She had to reject roles with male costars due to jealousy, terminated friendships with men and had a phone thrown at her face, which permanently damaged her eyesight.

“He could be charming, funny, manipulative, devious,” said Benoist.

People on social media have speculated that Benoist was a victim of domestic abuse and gaslighting as well. This term refers to a form of psychological manipulation that is typically used by abusers.

Nearly a year later, Jenner posted a six slide Instagram post, “apologizing” to Benoist for the abuse, when in reality, he was voicing excuses for his behavior. His therapy sessions, past trauma and a false sense of masculinity were just some of the various ones he mentioned. Jenner also pointed out that there was “mental, emotional and physical abuse from both ends,” which brought Twitter users forward to argue about this particular quote.

“I haven’t been this angry in a long time,” said Twitter user @Anna_4008. “Self- defense is not abuse.”

The fact that Jenner decided to post this statement when Benoist had recently given birth to her first child and was happily married brought an even larger amount of backlash. The conversation continued for the entirety of the week. Users went as far as to comment under his older posts on both his Instagram and Twitter accounts.

“Blake Jenner, you’ve had since November of last year,” said Twitter user @multixlmix. “You chose now to say something after your ex-wife whom you’ve abused physically, emotionally, mentally, had spoken up about your domestic violence in your relationship. After she just had a baby with her now loving husband.”

Benoist has not responded to his statement. There is no excuse for abuse. No amount of “apologizing” can make up for all the trauma garnered up from that experience. If someone is experiencing anything that might be considered domestic violence, reach out to sources such as the Lynn Counseling Center by calling (561) 237-7237 or by accessing individual Zoom meetings, held Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.; Fridays are held from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

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