Diane Neal is suing her ex-boyfriend for emotional, financial & physical abuse

2015 Ripple Of Hope Awards

***Trigger Warning***

For years and years, I loved Law & Order: SVU, and I have such affection for nearly every actor who participated in, say, the first 13 seasons of the show. Diane Neal was one of those actors – she played an ADA who prosecuted sex crimes and she was so good in the role that I keep wanting to call her by character’s name, Casey Novak. I will try to stop myself but she’s forever “Casey” to me. Diane Neal hasn’t been around much in recent years and I never really knew what happened to her or her acting career. As it turns out, this poor woman has been through hell at the hands of a completely awful man. The man’s name is J.B. Benn, and he’s a magician/illusionist. They met at a fundraiser in December 2013. A few months later, they were basically living together and completely in love. But everything changed. The Daily Beast has a lengthy piece about what happened, which you can read here. This story is very difficult to read. Here’s the worst part of the story:

But Neal now believes Benn’s love for her was more illusion than magic. According to litigation that started last year, she claims Benn was a dangerous con artist who targeted her, isolated her, physically and sexually abused her, and worked to dismantle her career. In an amended complaint filed Tuesday against Benn as part of a nearly two-year court battle, the 43-year-old actress describes him 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 Neal’s lawsuit, Benn refused to put her on the title to a secluded home they purchased together in upstate New York; sent emails and text messages impersonating her to her friends and entertainment contacts; threatened her; abused her; and intentionally harmed her pets. In the complaint, Neal says the magician slashed her beloved toy poodle’s throat, and told her that a cat caused the injury. Benn, the complaint says, also allegedly “bragged that he ‘bashed the cat’s brains in.’” (Neal told The Daily Beast her feline vanished while it was nursing kittens.)

On another occasion, Neal’s lawsuit states, she awoke to Benn sexually assaulting her while appearing to record the act on his cellphone. This alleged attack came days after Neal broke up with Benn in March 2018.

In a January 2019 affidavit filed at an earlier stage of the litigation, Benn called Neal’s accusation of sexual assault “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,” Benn stated. “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.”

[From The Daily Beast]

Yeah, we all know that women completely fabricate stories of horrific emotional, financial and physical abuse and document instances of stalking all for… real estate. Who is this guy kidding? Honestly, the second a man harms an animal, it’s f–king done. That’s it. The law is finally catching up to that too, because people are finally realizing that an abuser will target his victim’s pets. As for the rest of it… I mean, it just sounds horrific. Poor Diane. This sounds like a years-long saga which she is only recently beginning to come out of.

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Photos courtesy of WENN.

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37 Responses to “Diane Neal is suing her ex-boyfriend for emotional, financial & physical abuse”

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  1. Aims says:

    I believe her. She’s been through a living hell.

  2. Wilady says:

    That’s horrifying.

    I can’t help but think that if he was willing to kill pets, he would have eventually escalated and killed her. Glad she got out.

    • CherHorowitz says:

      Definitely. When I left my ex, one way he got me to go back to the house was by saying ‘ if you don’t come and get the cat today i will kill it’. The previous week when he thought i wanted to get the cat it was ‘you’re not getting this cat he’s mine’. It’s a very common method of intimidation and control and absolutely indicates a psychopathic and very dangerous person.

      • CityGirl says:

        My ex did the same with my cat and dog. I didn’t really think he would harm them but I wasn’t taking any chances and I sneaked over to the house when I knew he wasn’t home and took them. I had no where to put them and had to board them until I found a place to rent, but it was better than them being harmed or given away, in my mind anyway.

    • Mo says:

      Yes, if he’s awful to the pets, time to GTFO! Also, we need to stop with the victim blaming. I had a friend who stayed with her abusive husband because she was too ashamed of what people would think of her.

      When my ex and I broke up, he moved out and took the cat. When therapists and doctors asked me about the breakup, they sort of jumped and immediately asked me why. I explained that the cat was the kitten of his parent’s cat and they calmed right down. Didn’t learn until later that taking the cat was a huge red flag.

    • Raina says:

      It already escalated. He’s a murderer. He murdered a living being. And yes, thank God he didn’t do it to her and I’m glad it’s out there so the public knows who this psychopath is.

  3. Renee says:

    Jesus…..I can’t even imagine living through all of this. This scumbag needs to disappear. I cannot fathom what this poor woman has lived through.

  4. FHMom says:

    Omg. How horrible. I wish her well and hope she recovers her money and then some.

  5. Sarah says:

    I wish her well and I am glad she still alive. The guy is a total psycho and he would have eventually killed her, I am sure of that.

  6. TheOriginalMia says:

    He would have killed her. I hope she’s safe and I’m glad she’s outing him for the abuser he obviously is.

  7. Flamingo says:

    If you have the time, read the whole story. It’s a long read, but it is fascinating. I am glad that she had the support system to finally get herself out of that terrible situation.

  8. Valiantly Varnished says:

    David Blaine, David Copperfield…this guy. They all have reputations and stories of violence against women. If I ever met a magician I would run in the other direction.

  9. Mignionette says:

    This paragraph here SCREAMED Narcissist / Sociopath in the love bombing phase….

    “They met at a fundraiser in December 2013. A few months later, they were basically living together and completely in love. But everything changed. ”

    It’s always a bad sign when a guy is this insistent on pushing things forward at lightning speed and then changes when he knows he has you where he wants. Get out.

    • ChillyWilly says:

      @ Mignionette, This is so true. I had an ex do the same to me. He swept me off my feet, rushed things and then pulled the rug out from under my feet. By the time I realized what a monster he is I was already emotionally damaged and not thinking straight. Beware of men who move too fast. It’s usually bull$hit.

  10. L84Tea says:

    Ugh, I wish I hadn’t read it. How horrible.

  11. Kristen820 says:

    Sic him, Casey

  12. H says:

    I can’t read it, but for those who did…did the dog live?

    I hope the guy dies in a fire. Glad she’s out from under his abusive control and continues to heal.

    • Hoot says:

      Yes, the dog did survive! But her cat disappeared and its kittens slowly started disappearing as well.

      What a crazy story. I read all of it, and yes it is quite long and very bizarre. Women, pay attention to your gut when things seem off. It seems like Diane too quickly got sucked in while continuing on with her busy schedule at the onset of the relationship – she was still traveling a lot for work. She allowed Benn unrestricted access to her apartment, and in turn to every piece of personal and financial information since he would come and go as he pleased. Once he had all of that, forget it, she was doomed.

  13. ChillyWilly says:

    This is so awful. I hope Diane can heal from this and find peace and security. She’s a good actress.

  14. Rice says:

    She did a few episodes on NCIS as Coast Guard Investigative Services special agent Abigail Boren and she was great!

    • Jerusha says:

      Yeah, I thought they were setting her up to be a romantic interest for Pride, but then she disappeared. IIRC, she complained about behavior on set, but I never heard anymore. She was one of my favorite ADAs on SVU.

    • JanetDR says:

      She’s really good in that role.

  15. Annie says:

    Something about big time magicians, man. All these guys always have abuse allegations against them. There’s something fishy about a dude who thinks that’s a good career. NGL. That would be a red flag for me. It’s just not normal.

  16. Lisa says:

    “Yeah, we all know that women completely fabricate stories of horrific emotional, financial and physical abuse and document instances of stalking all for… real estate”

    Unfortunately, I know one woman, a former close friend, who did EXACTLY that. She actually told a friend of her plans beforehand, and others (including social workers) had documented major indiscrepancies in her story, so she didn’t get away with it, but she literally fabricated all that to try to get a $4M property in a 50/50 state. In the meantime, her husband lost access to his kids until the waters cleared (he now has custody). What she did was abusive to her kids, and she was proven to be abusive to her husband after everything came to light.

    I’m not applying this case to Diane Neal’s, but let’s be clear: there are lots of sociopaths in this world, and some of them are women.

    • lh says:

      Yeah, me too. A former friend of mine turned out to be a true sociopath. She is alway’s the victim. Female sociopaths are so scary, when her mask came off, holy shit, it was the scariest thing I have ever seen in my life…. bone chilling. The lies dripped off her tongue like honey. Her smear campaign/intimidation/harassment/stalking/menacing behavior/she groomed her own children to come after my kids… I had PTSD.

      The District Attorney that was working the case had to issue a restraining order then because of the kids being groomed a ‘by proxy’ restraining order so yeah…. women will and can lie and sadly manipulate their children to do their bidding. They are truly deluded and they are always the victim…. They will forever and always be. the. victim. You could have black and white evidence, which the D.A. has, and they will still try to project themselves as the victim.

      It’s been over 3-years since I’ve had a conversation with her and these 3-years have changed my DNA. I think she’s only leaving me alone now because it was the D.A. that issued the restraining orders and if she harasses me it would be considered witness tampering.

      I urge people to educate themselves on female sociopaths, part of what makes them so successful is people don’t think women lie about these sort of things. They absolutely do!

  17. Sean says:

    He’s sounds like a sociopath. Glad she’s away from him and hope she recovers.

    Also, she can’t be the only person he’s treated like this. I wonder if others will come forward after this.

    • otaku fairy.... says:

      Yeah, it wouldn’t be surprising if he had other victims. Sickening. I believe her. His wording in that statement is pretty suspect too: “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.” So, in other words “Those accusations she made are cray-cray OTT, but even if true, that’s not the concern here, people!” That doesn’t make him sound exactly innocent of the abuse he’s being accused of.

  18. schmootc says:

    I’m just very very sorry this man isn’t in jail, where he belongs. WT ever-loving F?!! The way people treat animals is such an indicator of what type of person they are. It’s like when you have someone interviewing for a job – ask the receptionist how they treated him/her and you’ll know if they’re an asshole or not. Or servers in restaurants.

  19. Cee says:

    Onñy a psychopath would hurt, maim and kill an animal. Therefore, I believe her. I’m glad she got out and I hope she drives him through hell.

  20. Jerusha says:

    How horrendous! If anyone had done that to my pets, I’d be sitting in jail on a homicide charge.
    I hope Diane destroys him.

  21. Pinetree13 says:

    Cutting a dogs throat should be assault charges

  22. Soupie says:

    Practically everyone did not return requests for comment. Who would want to be on the shi- list of that psycopath?

  23. Oliviajoy1995 says:

    Wow. I thought she was still married to her first husband Marcus Fitzgerald. They were together forever. Magicians always seem to be closeted a**holes. What a nightmare.

  24. KBeth says:

    Horrendous, I am so sad for her. I sincerely hope this bastard gets what he deserves.

  25. Dorothy says:

    Wow thanks for posting this story and the pictures of him so I can be sure to avoid the nasty POS.