In her new documentary, Evan Rachel Wood continues to detail the abuse she allegedly faced throughout her relationship with ex-fiancé Marilyn Manson.
The Westworld actress, 34, previously came forward with accusations against the singer, 53, in February 2021, claiming at the time that she was “horrifically” mistreated before they split in 2010. The duo made their relationship public after they worked together on Manson’s racy “Heart-Shaped Glasses” music video in 2007. Wood was 19 at the time.
“It [was] nothing like I thought it was going to be,” Wood recalled in Phoenix Rising – Part I: Don’t Fall, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival on Sunday, January 23. “We’re doing things that were not what was pitched to me. We had discussed a simulated sex scene but once the cameras were rolling, he started penetrating me for real.”
The three-time Golden Globe nominee alleged that the video’s set “did not feel safe,” claiming “no one was looking after [her]” throughout the project.
“It was a really traumatizing experience filming the video,” she said. “I didn’t know how to advocate for myself or know how to say no because I had been conditioned and trained to never talk back, to just soldier through. I felt disgusting and like I had done something shameful. And I could tell that the crew was very uncomfortable, and nobody knew what to do. I was coerced into a commercial sex act under false pretenses. That’s when the first crime was committed against me, and I was essentially raped on camera.”
Wood pointed to the on-set behavior as being “just the beginning of the violence that would keep escalating over the course of the relationship,” going on to claim that Manson (real name Brian Warner) gave her instructions about how to discuss the video’s concept in the press.
“[He wanted me to say we] had this great romantic time and none of that was the truth,” she alleged. “But I was scared to do anything that would upset [him] in any way.”
Manson’s attorney Howard King denied Wood’s account in a statement to Us Weekly on Monday, January 24.
“Of all the false claims that Evan Rachel Wood has made about Brian Warner, her imaginative retelling of the making of the ‘Heart-Shaped Glasses’ music video 15 years ago is the most brazen and easiest to disprove, because there were multiple witnesses,” the lawyer said. “Evan was not only fully coherent and engaged during the three-day shoot but also heavily involved in weeks of pre-production planning and days of post-production editing of the final cut. The simulated sex scene took several hours to shoot with multiple takes using different angles and several long breaks in between camera setups. Brian did not have sex with Evan on that set, and she knows that is the truth.”
The North Carolina native previously opened up about being sexually assaulted during a 2016 Rolling Stone interview, choosing not to name the alleged abusers at the time. In February 2021, she identified Manson in a lengthy Instagram post.
“He started grooming me when I was a teenager and horrifically abused me for years. I was brainwashed and manipulated into submission,” she wrote. “[I’m] done living in fear of retaliation, slander, or blackmail. I am here to expose this dangerous man and call out the many industries that have enabled him, before he ruins any more lives. I stand with the many victims who will no longer be silent.”
Several more women have spoken out against Manson after Wood came forward with her experience. The songwriter was dropped by his record label in the wake of the accusations, which he denied in a February 2021 statement.
“Obviously, my art and my life have long been magnets for controversy,” he wrote via Instagram. “But these recent claims about me are horrible distortions of reality.”
At the time, the Sons of Anarchy alum argued that his “intimate relationships have always been entirely consensual with like-minded partners. Regardless of how — and why — others are now choosing to misrepresent the past, that is the truth.”
In her new film, Wood described a turning point in her relationship with the “Sweet Dreams” singer, which she claimed occurred while she accompanied him on tour for eight months.
“I started getting scared because he started becoming really violent and throwing things, and so I just thought now, you know, is when the handlers step in and defuse the situation and no one did,” she alleged, noting that Manson had been prescribed Vicodin for “throat problems” at the time. “We showed up at the hotel, the bus parked, and Manson just grabbed me by my arm and yanked me. And in front of everybody, he’s dragging me by my arm into the hotel and no one’s doing anything.”
Over the past year, authorities have been investigating the numerous claims against Manson. The Thirteen actress reflected on “the urgency” she’s seen since her accusations made headlines.
“He has proven time and again that this is a pattern of behavior and it escalates,” she said in the documentary. “I think he’s very particular about who he does this to, to get away with it. They’re the ones that he finds on tour [or] on social media. They’re the fans, they’re the girls that he finds on model websites and says, ‘Hey, come be in this video,’ and then abuses them, and nobody’s gonna care. So the urgency is great.”
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If you or anyone you know has been sexually abused, call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673). A trained staff member will provide confidential, judgment-free support as well as local resources to assist in healing, recovering and more.
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