Evan Rachel Wood is among five women alleging abuse by the musician, whose persona has long blurred the lines between shocking theatrics and genuine mistreatment
Earlier this week (February 1), Evan Rachel Wood posted a statement to social media, accusing her former partner Marilyn Manson of years-long abuse. “The name of my abuser is Brian Warner, also known to the world as Marilyn Manson,” the actress wrote, claiming that he “horrifically abused me for years”.
“I stand with the many victims who will no longer be silent,” she added.
Four other women also came forward on Monday, making similar claims of abuse against Manson. Allegations include violence and harassment, sexual and verbal abuse, and Manson forcing his partners to take drugs. All four women say that they still suffer from post traumatic stress disorder, as reported by BBC News.
In response to the allegations via his own Instagram statement, Manson said the claims “misrepresent the past”. He added: “Obviously my art and my life have long been magnets for controversy, but these recent claims about me are horrible distortions of reality. My intimate relationships have always been entirely consensual with like-minded partners.”
Below is a short explainer on Wood’s relationship with Manson, and his history of similar allegations, amid a career in which the line between shock-based fantasy and real controversy have often been blurred.
MANSON DETAILS ‘MISTREATING WOMEN’ IN HIS AUTOBIOGRAPHY
Titled The Long Hard Road Out of Hell, Marilyn Manson’s autobiography – co-authored with rock critic Neil Strauss – was published in 1998. According to a critique in the Chicago Reader, the book details Manson “generally mistreating one or more women per page”. Though they’re all presented as consensual, anecdotes include burning off a groupie’s pubic hair, torturing others, and covering a deaf fan in raw meat, before she has sex with members of the band and gets peed on by Manson.
MANSON AND A TEENAGE WOOD BEGIN DATING
Evan Rachel Wood was 19 when she started dating 37-year-old Manson in 2007, subsequently inspiring his song “Heart-Shaped Glasses (When the Heart Guides the Hand)”, and appearing in the accompanying music video. In her recent statement, Wood wrote: “He (Manson) started grooming me when I was a teenager.”
The relationship ended in 2008. In 2009, the musician talked about self-harming following the break-up. He also told a SPIN interviewer: “I have fantasies every day about smashing her skull in with a sledgehammer.” Later, the musician’s representatives said this comment was a theatrical exaggeration. In 2010, the pair briefly reunited and were reportedly engaged, before splitting up again.
MANSON IS ACCUSED OF SEXUAL ASSAULT AND RACISM
House actor Charlyne Yi accused Manson of harassing “just about every woman” on the set of the show when he visited in 2018. She also alleged that he called her a “China man”. Manson himself didn’t comment on the claims, having previously said of sexual harassment in the entertainment industry: “There’s serious allegations – and they’re always allegations of course – but when someone starts complaining about something that happened that seems a little bit not as serious as sexual assault, I think that’s insulting to people that have been sexually assaulted. I just disagree with the entire snowball effect that’s happened that could ruin a lot of people’s lives that don’t need to be ruined.”
WOOD SAYS SHE WAS RAPED ‘BY A SIGNIFICANT OTHER’
In a 2016 interview for Rolling Stone, Wood first talked about being raped by a then-anonymous “significant other” while they were together, as well as the owner of a bar. “I don’t believe we live in a time where people can stay silent any longer,” the Westworld actress said in the interview. “Not given the state our world is in with its blatant bigotry and sexism.”
In 2018, Wood also appeared in front of the US House Judiciary Committee, detailing her experiences as part of a campaign for the 2016 Survivors’ Bill of Rights Act to be enacted countrywide. She described being diagnosed with PTSD, self-harming, and attempting suicide in the wake of the alleged attacks.
WOOD ACCUSES MANSON OF ABUSE VIA INSTAGRAM
As well as naming Marilyn Manson as her abuser in the February 1 allegations, Wood expanded on what she calls “horrific” abuse. “I was brainwashed and manipulated into submission,” she said. “I am 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.”
In a separate post, she shared a letter written by Californian senator Susan Rubio, directed to acting US attorney general Monty Wilkinson. The letter requests that “the US Department of Justice meet with the alleged victims immediately and investigate these accusations”.
MANSON IS DROPPED BY HIS RECORD LABEL
In the wake of the accusations from Evan Rachel Wood and four other women, Loma Vista Recordings – Manson’s record label – announced that it is ceasing promotion on his latest album, “effective immediately”. The label also said that it won’t work with the musician on any future projects, in light of the “disturbing allegations”.
According to BBC News, his guest appearance in the TV drama American Gods has also been cancelled. “We have decided to remove his performance from the remaining episode he is in, scheduled to air later this season,” read a statement from the network, Starz. “Starz stands unequivocally with all victims and survivors of abuse.”