Pop Culture

Evan Rachel Wood Says Marilyn Manson “Essentially Raped” Her in 2007

Nearly a year after Evan Rachel Wood first accused her ex, Marilyn Manson, of abuse, she’s alleging that the cycle of violence began on the set of his 2007 “Heart-Shaped Glasses” music video. She’s speaking out in the two-part documentary Phoenix Rising, the first half of which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival on Sunday.

In the doc, Wood said she was “coerced into a commercial sex act under false pretenses,” according to People. “That’s when the first crime was committed against me. I was essentially raped on-camera.” At the time of filming, Wood was 19 and Manson was 38, and she said the shoot was “nothing like I thought it was going to be.” 

Wood explained, “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. I had never agreed to that. I’m a professional actress, I’ve been doing this my whole life; I’ve never been on a set that unprofessional in my life up until this day.”

The actress said that she did not “feel safe” during the shoot, feeling “disgusting” afterward and that she had “done something shameful.” Wood continued, “I could tell that the crew was very uncomfortable and nobody knew what to do,” adding, “No one was looking after me. It was a really traumatizing experience filming the video. 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.”

Manson (whose real name is Brian Warner) denied her allegations in a January 24 statement from his lawyer, Howard King, to E! News. He said that Manson “did not have sex with Evan on that set, and she knows that is the truth.” The attorney claimed Wood was “fully coherent” during the filming process and “heavily involved” in preproduction and editing.

Wood, who was in a relationship with Manson from mid-2006 to early 2011, is one of several accusers to come forward with abuse and harassment allegations against Manson, including his ex-girlfriend Ashley Morgan Smithline and Game of ThronesEsmé Bianco. Manson has denied all abuse allegations, writing on Instagram in February 2021 that his “intimate relationships have always been entirely consensual” and that “recent claims about me are horrible distortions of reality.” The musician has been dropped by his record label, Loma Vista, as well as by the Creative Artists Agency. In November, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said it raided Manson’s home after launching an investigation into reports of domestic violence. 

Wood shared her experience of sexual assault by an unnamed ex-partner in 2016, before testifying in front of a subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee in 2018 in order to get the Survivors’ Bill of Rights Act passed in all 50 states. She would name her abuser as Manson in February 2021, alleging that “he started grooming me when I was a teenager and horrifically abused me for years.” 

Wood wrote on Instagram, “I was brainwashed and manipulated into submission. 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. I stand with the many victims who will no longer be silent.”

Phoenix Rising is set to premiere on HBO Max in March.

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