Ben Kruger, Christian Chavez Ex-Boyfriend, Opens Up About Abusive Relationship And Singer’s Latest Suicide Attempt In Heartfelt Letter

Christian Chávez, Ben Kruger
Ben Kruger wrote a heartfelt letter explaining his side of the story. Courtesy of Ben Kruger

Back in early May most headlines featured former RBD singer Christian Chávez and his then boyfriend, Ben Kruger. According to what was reported, the two men got in a fight that escalated into a violent situation, leaving both of them injured and in jail. Many media outlets quickly covered the story, and a lot of them followed Chávez for exclusive declarations. It was a circus. In every interview, a teary Christian would give his side of the story, appealing to the public and looking physically and emotionally destroyed. Domestic violence is no game. It doesn’t matter which end you’re at. If you’re in an abusive relationship it will take its toll on you. Nevertheless, what people never seemed to question, or care about for that matter, was how his now former boyfriend, Ben Kruger was doing. No one seemed to wonder why he did the things Christian accused him of doing, or if they were true.

Today, after five months of trying to get his life back together, being the subject of an ongoing investigation, Ben opens up to Latin Times, and in a heartfelt letter, he explains his relationship with Christian, and the tragic circumstances of the fight that ended their relationship for good. Below, we’re copying the letter, with his exact same words, so the world finally gets to know the other side of the story. The story of two people that fell in love way too fast, the story of how fame, the wanted fortune and drugs, got in the way of cultivating a healthy relationship, the story of how image is the most important thing in the entertainment business, and the story of how an innocent man had to deal with his partner’s reputation and put his life on hold just so the other could succeed. This is the story of Ben and Christian as told by Ben.

LÉELA EN ESPAÑOL

Christian and I met in December of 2011 though a mutual friend at a small holiday party.  I had absolutely no idea he was famous.  He initially told me that he was an intern for Telemundo, and he later mentioned that he also sang a little.  He was incredibly charming and a very smooth talker.  He seemed to have the right answer for everything, and he carried himself with an air of confidence I found really attractive.  We were inseparable for the first week, and he spent a lot of time crying with happiness that he had found me.  It really was quite the fairytale beginning. 

It wasn’t until we were at dinner about 10 days later and a fan asked for a photo/autograph that I realized the extent to which he was known. I had never dated a celebrity. To me, it was just his job, not his identity.  He also isn’t widely known in Los Angeles. We discussed how his job and fame might impact our relationship and me.  He explained at some point there would likely be a story written about it and our photo released. We managed to keep the relationship under wraps for almost 4 months. I had no interest in being in the limelight which is why we were photographed so little together throughout the remainder of our relationship. He would walk a red carpet at an event, and I would walk through the back door of the venue if I even attended at all.  In reports after the April 2013 incident, I was accused of chasing after Christian for fame and money. Neither were true, and throughout the course of our relationship Christian, his family, his friends and his management knew I was with him for the right reasons. To my surprise, they actually thanked me on multiple occasions for standing by his side and being there for him. His mother told me I was the angel she had been praying for.  I didn’t understand what they were talking about at the time, or why they would be telling me this, but I later would…

The first warning sign I saw with Christian was at a New Years Celebration at a night club in West Hollywood. He was incredibly protective and territorial over me.  Another man at the club grabbed me inappropriately, and Christian threw him into a wall. Christian was so enraged that we ended up having to leave. I was really upset about the situation. He apologized profusely, and, the next morning, he brought me flowers and an apology note.

The first time I saw how artfully he manipulated the media was when he proposed that we stage and sell the first photograph of us together.   I was alarmed to learn how the relationship between celebrities and the media worked, often collaborating together to create a win-win scenario.  In our case, TvNotas had put a price of $10,000 on the first photograph of us together. The benefit to Christian in producing the picture was the money and that he would have control over what the photograph would look like.  I had a problem with the fact he would receive the money when I was really the one that was losing my privacy and anonymity. The entire incident made me question his motives and whether or not he had my best interests in mind. I wouldn’t allow the photo to be taken, and paparazzi snapped the first picture of us in Beverly Hills a few months later. 

In January of 2012, I accompanied Christian on a tour through Brasil. It was unlike anything I had ever experienced: hundreds of screaming fans outside our hotel at all hours of the day, bodyguards, gifts, extravagant meals, paparazzi, etc. It was at this time I came to understand the complex challenges Christian faced in establishing himself as a solo artist after leaving one of Latin America’s most successful pop groups. He had incredible fame and was one of the most talented singers I had ever seen, but his talents were completely outshadowed by his sexuality. I was floored to learn about the number of TV stations, radio stations, magazines, etc. that refused to play or write about his music because he was gay. Not just a few, we’re talking hundreds of them.  Hundreds and hundreds. Advertisers threatened to pull funding from shows if he appeared on them.  Media executives blacklisted him from networks. I gained so much respect for him at this time. I knew he was the first openly gay Latin American recording artist, but I didn’t realize the incredible battle he faced on a daily basis. It’s hard enough for American recording artists and actors who are gay. In Latin America, it’s virtually impossible to have a career as a gay artist. 

Over the course of the next 12 months, Christian’s life took a downward turn. His tours in Latin America were successful, but not enough to generate the income needed to self-finance production and promotion for his new music. He didn’t have great support from a record label as his first solo album had done poorly, and he was being grossly mismanaged.   During this time he fired his management only to later hire them back after he was unsuccessful in securing a new manager. He faced extreme financial hardship. Even though he was a millionaire after RBD, he had recklessly spent all his money. The point at which he really seemed to crack was when he was forced to sell his car in the US, making him completely dependent on me and my car. He felt trapped and hopeless.

Christian started acting very strangely in the middle of 2012.  He wasn’t sleeping through the night, and I later learned that he was abusing drugs during this time. He had episodes of extreme anger, and he seemed to attribute many of his problems to me, even though I had absolutely nothing to do with them.  If anything, I was a support system for him. I drove him to and from vocal lessons, management meetings, and other events often taking away from my own work. I pushed for him to interact with his fans via social media.  I made him do his vocal warmups every day, and I made him continue to write music.

I tried for months to get Christian treatment for depression and into a drug rehabilitation facility.  I talked to his management to discuss some sort of intervention. They told me I stood to jeopardize his public image at a time when it was already in jeopardy.  I talked with his parents and friends who assured me that I was overacting and that Christian would be fine. All of his immediate circle refused to acknowledge the severity of the situation, and the harder I pushed to get him help, the more pushback I received.

Things became far more serious when Christian started doing drastic things to draw attention to himself. During an argument one day over something very petty, he jumped on the balcony railing of my penthouse apartment in Beverly Hills and threatened to jump. I was truly terrified. I left the apartment thinking my presence could agitate the situation, and I called 911.   Police arrived very quickly and closed down the street.  Ambulances and firefighters also responded. When police got to the unit, Christian told them that I had lied and made everything up!  He told them I was mentally unstable and that I wanted attention.  Why on earth would I pull such a ridiculous stunt? Aside from the fact it would be completely illegal, I live and work in Beverly Hills where my reputation is everything. Christian was taken via ambulance to the hospital where he immediately checked himself out.  When he returned to the apartment, he was absolutely livid. He told me that my actions would ruin his career, that I was a horrible person, that I should have never called the police and that I should just kill myself. I was devastated and in complete shock that he had managed to take a situation he had created, lied about the entire thing to police, and then blamed me for it. This is just one of countless times where police were called to our apartment and Christian lied to make me look bad and save his own image. 

After that incident, I lost the support of my family and friends. They saw that my relationship with Christian had become emotionally abusive.  He was attributing his failures to me, destroying my confidence, and ruining my reputation. I wanted so badly to believe that I could help him through this difficult time and that he would change.  I pushed away the most important people in my life because I loved Christian and wanted to help him.  In retrospect, I realize that my friends and family were just trying to help me. I thought Christian would get better. Christian didn’t get better. He got much, much worse…

By February of 2013, our relationship was in a state of disrepair. Christian was convinced that I was cheating and accused me of it daily.  I wasn’t.  I never cheated on him.  Not once.  (I found out after our breakup that he had actually been unfaithful throughout much of our relationship with multiple other people)

Towards the end of February, Christian started getting physically violent. One Friday evening, he started an argument, and I didn’t feel safe staying in the apartment. I left to go stay with my sister, and I turned off my phone. The next morning, I awoke to dozens of text messages and voice messages which he had left throughout the night. He had gone to almost all the bars and night clubs in the area, convinced that I was out at one of them with someone else. He then had gone to my sister’s apartment. After he was unable to find me, he returned to our apartment, threw a cement cinderblock through the apartment’s skylight, and then booked a flight to Mexico. He was at the airport when I returned home. My apartment was in complete chaos. It looked like a crime scene with glass everywhere.  I called the police and they responded.  They advised me not to press charges against him to avoid a massive publicity mess. I agreed that the press learning about the incident would make things even worse. Christian, his parents, and his manager all said that the skylight would be replaced at his expense and we’d keep the incident quiet. I never received the money, and I was left with a bill for $1,000+. More troubling was the fact none of them seemed to take the incident seriously. Christian returned from Mexico about a week later. (note: photos of the skylight were later shown in the media though Christian completely denied having any part of them breaking. I have text messages from him in which he admits to breaking the skylight, and my parents also have text dialogue from him where he promises to pay the money.)

After the skylight incident, I knew I had to get out of the relationship. His mood swings and jealousy had turned to rage and violence, and I was the one being blamed for his failing career. I wasn’t safe. He was so unbelievably controlling. I thought if I tried to leave he would kill me, or himself.
The problem I faced is that we were both very co-dependent on one another.  We had pushed almost everyone away from us and we only kept to ourselves.

I kept forgiving him for his actions. To make the crazy stop, I had to figure out a way to make Christian not want to be with me, and, if I couldn’t, I had to figure out a way to make his management, friends, and family not let him be with me. Sometime in late March, I took a photo of us from the previous Halloween where he was dressed as a woman. I tweeted it from my twitter account. He saw it. His management saw it. His friends saw it. Some of his fans saw it. Then, I took it down. He later told me that he loved me and that he didn’t know how he could be with me now that nobody in his camp supports the relationship. The photo didn’t make any news. It didn’t get picked up and published. It didn’t hurt his image, yet it had accomplished exactly what I needed: lose the support of his management, family, friends and fans while generating a way to escape the relationship. Now his management thought I was a threat to his image, they would tell him to leave me. It worked. His management told him they had to get rid of me. For whatever reason, he wouldn’t leave.

Over the next month, Christian would sleep almost all day. In the evening he would leave our apartment around 9PM saying he was going for a quick walk.  He would come back the next morning about 10AM, physically exhausted and with blood and blisters all over his feet. Each night, he was walking all over Los Angeles… 10+ hours of straight walking… 15, 20 miles… maybe more. One evening he was actually mugged and beaten during one of his bizarre night walks. I will probably never know what Christian was really doing when he left. All I know is that whatever it was, it wasn’t good. The self-mutilation was disturbing. The lack of sleep made him hallucinate and emotionally unstable.   

By the beginning of April, I’d had enough. He was taking me down with him. I was depressed and felt completely cut off to the world. My business was impacted, and at that time I was the only one bringing in any money. I explained to Christian why I was leaving him and told him that despite loving him more than he will ever know, his actions were putting us both in extreme danger. 

Christian then confessed that he had been abusing a stimulant drug (I’m not going to name which).  The amount of the drug he was taking was so extreme it was causing him massive anxiety, paranoia, and hallucinations. It was also the reason he was unable to sleep and the reason he was going out for lengthy walks that injured himself.    

I asked him to move out of my apartment immediately. He refused and referred to a California tenant law which requires a person be given 30-days notice to vacate a property even if the person does not own the property or have their name on a lease. So, I gave him 30 days notice and left for much of the month.

Day 30 was April 30, 2013, the day we were both arrested. He’d made no conscious effort to relocate in the 30 days. He hadn’t packed. He hadn’t found anywhere to go.  He just slept and slept and slept.   It was clear getting him out was going to be a lot of effort. I told him he could spend that night in the apartment. We would each stay in different rooms, and the next day (May 1) I would help him move out. 

That evening, things became crazy when I tried to go to sleep. We were on OK terms at this point, or at least I thought we were. As I went to bed, he started to realize that he was losing control of the situation, and that I would soon be gone. He paced around the bed as I was trying to go to sleep.  When I asked him what he was doing, he replied, “Plotting my revenge!” (Referring to the photo I had uploaded). I asked what he meant. “Oh, don’t worry. You won’t be alive to see it,” he replied. 

I said, “Enough, Christian. We’re going to bed.  Enough.”  I turned off the light and awoke minutes later to find him hovering over me with an iPhone in his hand. The flashlight on the phone was on my face and he appeared to be recording a video.  He was narrating to the camera, talking about faults with my face and looks. It seemed as if he was going to upload the video online to humiliate me. I instinctively grabbed for the phone and threw it off the bed. The phone hit the bedroom door which was a few feet from the bed.  The screen broke. Nervous about how he would react, I said: “Christian, I’ll buy you a new phone in the morning. First thing we’ll do tomorrow is replace it. Just stop. Go to bed! This is ridiculous.”  Christian became angry and said, “No, now your phone needs to be broken!”  I became extremely scared as I saw him transition from anger to rage. I was still lying with my back on the bed, and I put the phone between my back and the mattress. He walked around the bed to my side, climbed over me, and tried to grab for the phone. He couldn’t reach it. Straddling me, he then put his hands around my neck. I suddenly realized that I was in extreme danger. Never before had he been this physical or looked so angry.    

I succeeded in getting him off of me. We tackled each other to the floor and I broke free. I ran out of the bedroom.  He shattered a vase on the back of my head as I ran from the room. I made it to the bathroom where I locked the door and dialed 911. I heard Christian scream “I’m going to fucking kill you!” He had a knife from the knife block in the kitchen. He then started charging the bathroom door in an attempt to get in the bathroom. I was trapped in there naked.  

I frantically explained to the 911 operator what was happening and begged for help. Christian could be heard in the background charging the door multiple times.  The door was hollow, and it was starting to break down the middle. Within a minute or so, the door had broken off of two of the hinges.  It was hanging at a 45 degree angle by one hinge. I could see only his feet, pacing back and forth, and his hand which was holding a large kitchen knife. He realized I was on the phone with police. Christian then took his phone, dialed 911 and said that he was in the apartment with me and that I was making a false 911 call claiming he had a knife. I couldn’t believe it!   

Police arrived at my apartment door within minutes. Christian hid the knife and casually answered the door as if he we were having friends over for dinner.  He was tackled to the floor by police, cuffed and dragged out of the apartment. I was still in the bathroom.  As the police had received two 911 calls, they had no idea who or what to believe. They screamed, “There’s someone else in the apartment. Come out now!”  I climbed over the broken door, walked out with my hands in the air and dropped the cell phone to the floor.  There were multiple guns drawn and pointed at me with another dozen or so officers in the hallway. I was thrown to the floor, hand cuffed, and dragged out of the apartment. 

Police immediately asked each of us to explain what happened. I walked them through the sequence of events and begged them to listen to the 911 tape. It clearly showed I was in the bathroom on the phone with 911 as he was breaking down the door.  Down the hall, I could hear Christian telling an entirely different story to police.

During the incident, Christian was under the influence of drugs. It was very noticeable, and police asked me if he had used them.  I confirmed this, and I expect that will be in their report.  This detail was left out of the immediate reporting on the story.  

Because there were contradicting stories from Christian and me, the fact the responding officers didn’t have access to my 911 call, and the fact that we both had visible injuries on our body, we were both arrested. I was told that they were unable to determine at the scene who the aggressor was, which is somewhat ridiculous given that simply listening to the 911 tape would have cleared it up.   I suppose they were just following protocol.
Christian and I were both taken to the Beverly Hills police station. I cooperated with police as much as I could.  I was polite.  I understood why we were both there, and I understood their position.   

I was asked if I felt my life was in danger. There was no doubt in my mind that my life was in grave danger. Christian had completely lost it, and the media fallout from this would be insane. I stood to be threatened by him, his management, his fans, friends, advertisers, networks, record labels, and anyone else with a financial interest in his success. A judge was woken up (it was now around 3:30 in the morning of May 1st) and he granted me an emergency protective order against Christian requiring that he make no contact with me, stay away from me, and he remove all of his possessions from my residence immediately. Christian claims that he too was offered a temporary restraining order against me, and that he chose to take the high road by not getting one. I don’t believe this to be true. If I was doing the things he claimed I was doing, why on earth would he not take the opportunity to get a restraining order against me?

Christian spent the majority of the night in jail telling police he was a famous pop singer and actor and that he should be released.  His efforts did nothing more than spread the word about our arrest to the media. The police talked. I was released the next morning. He was released in the afternoon. By that evening, I had several hundred calls from journalists and paparazzi stationed outside my apartment. Christian was taken into hiding by his management.  

After my release, I offered to let one of Christian’s friends come to collect his belongings.  Police offered to be present while his things were removed, and we took them up on the offer.  The apartment was a complete crime scene.  Broken door, broken furniture.  The officer at the apartment asked Christian’s friend and me what had happened to the bathroom door.  I replied “I was locked behind it when Christian broke it down holding a knife.”  His friend replied: “No, we’re not sure.”  It was at that moment I realized Christian’s management, family and friends planned a massive cover-up, which would include blatantly lying to the police and media. 

In anticipation of the media nightmare that would follow, I hired security to protect me.  Armed law officers escorted me to the courthouse two days after the arrest where we were both due to appear for our arraignment.  I had bruising all over my body.  I wore a suit that covered much of it, and I hid the other bruising with sunglasses and makeup.  Christian on the other hand hired a makeup artist to make his injuries look far worse than they were.  He showed up at court looking like he had been hit by a truck.  It was 48 hours after the incident.   Bruising like he showed doesn’t appear that quickly on the body.  His arm was in a brace (keep in mind this was the same arm he likely used to break down a wooden door) and it appeared as if only he had injuries.  He held a press conference outside the courthouse, and pretended to cry for the cameras.  It was his best acting to date.  He played the victim card, lied for all the cameras, and told a sob story to make me look like a monster.
The press ate it up. Christian is masterful at manipulating the media.  He knows exactly how to tell a story that will gain momentum, and he is extremely good at eliciting sympathy from both the media and fans. 

From that point, things went from bad to worse.  Christian’s story became more inaccurate the more he told it, more ridiculous with each interview he gave.  He just made things up.  For example, he accused me of being in a psychiatric hospital for 10 days via twitter.  This was later proven false and the comment was taken down.  He did dozens and dozens of interviews where he just made everything up.  It was unbelievable to me that he lied and more unbelievable that people believed it without asking for my side of the story.  I was never given a fair opportunity to defend myself. 

I went to court when my emergency protective order expired, and I was successful in obtaining a restraining order that had to be served to Christian by a process server before it would be valid.  Because there was so much press at the courthouse, the documents were released and published on the news before the process server could find him.  His management hid him, then moved him to Miami.  I had process servers in LA and Miami tracking him.  I eventually dropped the request for the restraining order.  I couldn't get the documents to Christian as he'd since gone to Mexico.  It seemed the only thing worse than not having a restraining order against him was further agitating him and the media by successfully getting one.
Christian and his PR machine had one goal: smear my image to make me such an untrustworthy source of information that my account of the events wouldn’t even matter, regardless of where the evidence pointed when it got released.  It worked. Few reporters actually published what I had to say.  It wasn’t as colorful or exciting as what he was saying. 

 There were several other things that really skewed the accuracy of the reporting on this story:

1)   Christian and his former partner, BJ Murphy, maintained an extremely abusive relationship.  In 2007, People en Espanol ran a story saying that there were multiple accounts that there was abuse in the relationship.   Christian had confirmed to me while we were together that this was true.  Not a single article written about our incident noted Christian’s history of abusive relationships.  

2)   Christian was arrested for buying drugs from an undercover police officer in Times Square in New York.  Again, this detail was left out of the reporting, even after I alluded to the fact that he was abusing drugs the night of the arrest and for a majority of our relationship.

3)   Christian had been famous for almost 10 years.  He knew the vast majority of the reporters covering the story, many of them personally.  Some were RBD fans.  He has direct ties to all the major magazines and networks, and he controlled every aspect of every interview he did.

4)   The other thing nobody would report is, at the time, Christian was deep into negotiations with Telemundo for a new television show that he was going to co-host.  The opportunity would have been career changing for him, possibly offering a multi-million dollar contract.  Telemundo had already started promoting him on the network with him hosting the Latin Billboard Award red carpet coverage.   Telemundo was extremely reluctant to report on the story.  When reporters showed up to cover my application for a restraining order, Telemundo was the only network not present.  Their interview with Christian was ridiculously inaccurate.  I knew about it ahead of time.  Before it aired, I called the producer and told them that I would sue if they used my name and knowingly reported false information.  They supposedly revisited the footage.  What aired was still ridiculously innacurate.   

During his rounds of TV interviews, Christian and his management chose to release a song titled “Buenas Noches.”  They claimed the song had been written about me after our arrest.  This is simply untrue.  The song had been written around January 2013 and Christian had asked me for input multiple times.   The song wasn’t released in January because he didn’t have the money to promote it.  It costs at least $100,000 USD to launch and market a single correctly.   He used the free publicity from our arrest and released the song in the middle of the media frenzy.  He would do a sit down interview, talk about how awful and abusive I was, and then jump up and sing a song trying to push record sales.  Why didn’t people see right through this?  It made me cringe when he said the song was about standing up against domestic violence.  He was the one guilty of it.  

Now, 5 months after the incident, Christian continues to talk about it and try generate press from it.  What I find truly amazing is that, at some point, the 911 call and the police report will be released.  It will be so obvious after listening to the 911 call what happened.  What is he going to do when it becomes obvious he has lied about everything? Is this what he is worried about? 

Lastly, Christian has a history of lying to the press.   The best example of this I can provide is that he is still married to BJ murphy, the guy he married in Canada in 2005.  His management and Christian have talked at length about a divorce and lead the public to believe that the two were divorced.   It’s widely known that they are divorced.  The media never dug deep enough to discover the truth.   The truth is that Christian was married the duration of our relationship and is still married.  He can’t afford a divorce.  I would encourage someone from the press to pull the marriage license and check for divorce documents.
I’m not going to comment or speculate too heavily on the events this past week.  It’s a very serious and disturbing situation.  

What I will say is this: Christian has a history of using shock tactics to get attention and make headlines.  He is an extremely troubled individual with psychopathic tendencies.  He was troubled before I met him, troubled when I was with him, and he remains troubled since we separated.
There’s no doubt in my mind that the images he tweeted we real and there’s no doubt in my mind that he is in a state of “extreme crisis” battling drug addiction and depression.  Despite everything he has done to me, I now only feel sorry for him. 

I made the mistake of trying to save Christian from himself, and he and his team turned against me, crucifying me publicly with lies.  His friends have all lied publicly, some celebrities, about what happened.  It's amazing to me that people will lie just because someone is famous.  To date, I've been accused of kidnapping him, holding him hostage, abusing him physically and emotionally, and lying about things I can prove are true.  The record needs to be set straight, and I intend to do just that. 

I’ve chosen to speak now because the public is starting to see the extent of Christian’s mental instability and his ruthless tactics to remain relevant at a time when the spotlight on him is fading.  He is surrounded by “friends” who take advantage of him without his knowledge.  It seems everyone around him has an ulterior motive.

What is disturbing to me is that since the photos were tweeted by Christian, he has continued to tweet.  Today, he even uploaded a video saying that the photos were in fact real.  Why is he not in the hospital on some kind of psychiatric hold? Why is he not already in treatment? Why is he being allowed to tweet and comment on his actions?  This to me is incredibly suspicious.  

I really hope he gets the help he needs and takes responsibility for his actions, for the chaos he caused with me and, most recently, with his fans.  Although I remain hopeful he will get better, I have a feeling this is only the beginning of the nightmare that has become Christian's life.  He seems to thrive in chaos. 

What do you think?
Maria G. Valdez

Maria was born and raised in Dominican Republic, where she began her career in journalism covering human interest stories, entertainment, beauty and wellness for a national magazine. She moved to New York City to study Musical Theatre, but went back to journalism after graduating in an attempt of becoming the Latina Carrie Bradshaw. She has an unhealthy obsession with JLo and claims to be Sofia Vergara’s long-lost daughter, and has tried a crazy amount of treatments to keep looking young. She became a Zumba instructor for fun.