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.
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.
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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