'Law & Order: SVU' Star's Horrific Abuse Allegations Against Ex-Partner
Warning: Distressing content
'Law and Order: SVU' star Diane Neal has accused former partner, magician JB Benn, of physically and sexually abusing her, as well as slashing her Toy Poodle's throat and blaming it on the cat.
Neal, who played prosecutor Casey Novak on the series for 11 years, alleged in an amended complaint to a legal case filed on Wednesday that Benn was “a manipulative and maniacal fraudster” who “defrauded her of millions” and “violently inflicted emotional distress” on her via “a campaign of isolation, terror and (physical and sexual) assault, and destroyed her reputation by doing so," she told The Daily Beast.
She also accused Benn of pushing her out of a $529,900 home she had partly paid for.
“At the time, the parties agreed that Benn initially would take title of the property under his name alone in order to avoid complicating issues related to Neal’s divorce, then add Neal to the title once those issues were resolved,” the claim read.
She went on to accuse her former flame of violently assaulting her by kicking her, saying, “I’m so upset because it’s the first time that anyone has raised a hand to me … and it wasn’t a hand by the way. He never uses his hands. He kicks,” she told the publication.
Neal also alleged than on Thanksgiving 2017, Benn gave her a muscle relaxant before offering to drive her to her friend’s house. He then reportedly “refused to drive Neal to the gathering … after a brief verbal argument, Benn again attacked Neal again kicking her until she was black and blue.”
Neal added that the magician also “slashed her toy poodle’s throat and blamed it on a cat.” She also claimed that he “bragged that he ‘bashed the cat’s brains in’”. She said the same cat had disappeared while it was nursing kittens.
Lawyer Sarmad Khojasteh backed the actress' claims, telling the Daily Beast: “Ms. Neal has suffered a devastating ordeal -- as a victim of domestic abuse that robbed her of her personal security, as a victim of a fraudulent scheme that robbed her of the financial security that she earned during an extremely successful acting career, and as a victim of lawyers and prosecutors who have served her extremely poorly.”
Benn has since refuted all of Neal's claims, claiming that she “will say whatever she believes is necessary to gain sympathy and to support her ongoing vendetta against me,” according to People.
“The only thing that (Neal’s) papers prove is that she is so beholden to her anger over our failed relationship that she will swear to anything, without regard to the truth, to paint me in a false light and to try get (sic) from this court what she wants,” Benn allegedly said.
“I fear that as this lawsuit progresses, (Neal’s) accusations will grow increasingly outlandish, and will be even less tethered to the supposed matter at issue here -- the ownership of the (upstate) property,” he continued.
Benn and Neal met in December 2013 at Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s annual Deer Valley Celebrity SkiFest fundraiser and moved in together after two months of dating.
If you or someone you know is affected by sexual assault, please call 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732). Children and adult survivors of child sexual assault seeking support can contact Bravehearts on 1800 272 831. Always call triple-0 in an emergency or to report crime.