‘Law and Order: SVU’ star Diane Neal accuses magician ex of sexual abuse, harming pets
It’s like an episode of her own show.
“Law and Order: SVU” actress Diane Neal has accused her celebrity magician ex-boyfriend JB Benn of sexual and physical abuse, harming her pets, and stealing money from her.
New court docs from a lawsuit that has spanned nearly two years show that the 43-year-old actress describes the illusionist as a “manipulative and maniacal fraudster” who allegedly “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,” according to the Daily Beast.
According to the suit, Benn refused to put Neal on the title to an Upstate New York home they purchased together. She also claims he impersonated her over email and text messages to her friends and entertainment contacts, threatened her, abused her and intentionally hurt her pets.
Neil says the illusionist slashed her toy poodle’s throat and blamed it on a cat. He also allegedly “bragged that he ‘bashed the cat’s brains in.'” She also says her cat disappeared while it was nursing kittens, according to the website.
The lawsuit states that after Neal broke up with Benn in March 2018, she woke up to Benn sexually assaulting her while appearing to record the act on his phone.
In another instance, Lean claims Benn violently assaulted her by repeatedly kicking her, leaving her bruised on the floor, according to her amended complaint in August 2017. She says that after she begged Benn to leave the home, he refused and spent the night in the driveway “to prevent her from fleeing.”
“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 Daily Beast.
She also claims that on Thanksgiving that year he offered to drive her to her friend’s house but he convinced her to take a muscle relaxant but then “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.”
He allegedly abused her on a third occasion in February 2018 by kicking her in hiking boots, casing “widespread contusions and/or hematomas” on both legs. On a fourth occasion, he allegedly sent Neal’s mother out for a long lunch (she was in town to help Neail plan her run for Congress) and assaulted Neal while her mother was gone.
“He kicks the bejeezus out of me. I’m begging, ‘Why? What do I have to do to get away from you?’” she told the website.
Benn responded in a January 2019 affidavit, calling his ex’s accusations “completely false and outrageously interposed as a tactic to cloud the fact that, on the merits, [Neal] has no entitlement to the relief she seeks…[Neal] will say whatever she believes is necessary to gain sympathy and to support her ongoing vendetta against me.”
He added, “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.”
On top of Neal’s claims of abuse, she found that Benn was stealing from her. Neal claims she found documents in Benn’s home office showing that he fraudulently transferred money from her bank account, stole her personal checks, and used her credit card accounts to pay for his personal expenses.
“In total, Benn has robbed Neal of hundreds of thousands of dollars,” her amended complaint alleges.
He denied all of Neal’s other accusations.
“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 … ” he stated.
Benn was arrested for misdemeanor stalking after initiated “unwanted contact” with Neal over email and also for driving past her home seven times in 15 minutes while she was in her driveway. He also went to the Ulster County District Attorneys Office while she was there, “causing Neal to Fear for her life,” the charging documents state, according to the Daily Beast.
In court on Wednesday, Benn pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct, a noncriminal violation, in a deal where he must pay $200 in fines and fees and honor a two-year order of protection for Neal, the site reports.