In the past, actor and activist Evan Rachel Wood has spoken about the alleged abuse she was subjected to by an unnamed ex. In an Instagram post early Monday morning, she put a name to the allegations.
“The name of my abuser is Brian Warner, also known to the world as Marilyn Manson,” Wood wrote. “He started grooming me when I was a teenager and horrifically abused me for years. 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.”
In a show of solidarity, at least four other women posted their own allegations against Manson, detailing harrowing experiences that they claim included sexual assault, psychological abuse, and/or various forms of coercion, violence, and intimidation. After being quickly dropped by his record label, Loma Vista, and cut from a TV series, Manson posted a statement to his Instagram account, making a sweeping denial without addressing any of the women’s specific allegations: “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. Regardless of how – and why – others are now choosing to misrepresent the past, that is the truth.”
Wood, now 33 and a star of HBO’s Westworld, has said that she met shock-rocker Manson when she was 18 and he was 36. In 2018, Wood testified before a House Judiciary Subcommittee as part of an effort to get the Sexual Assault Survivors’ Bill of Rights passed in all 50 states. “My experience with domestic violence was this: Toxic mental, physical and sexual abuse which started slow but escalated over time, including threats against my life, severe gaslighting and brainwashing, waking up to the man that claimed to love me raping what he believed to be my unconscious body,” she told the subcommittee, though she did not name a perpetrator at the time.
In 2009, in an article in Spin, Manson was quoted as saying of Wood, “I have fantasies every day about smashing her skull in with a sledgehammer.” Last year, when that comment was brought up by a music journalist, a representative for Manson noted that the comment was “obviously a theatrical rock star interview promoting a new record, and not a factual account.” Wood and Manson were engaged in 2010 before breaking up.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, in May of 2018, months after the #MeToo movement began sweeping through the entertainment industry, a police report was filed against Manson citing unspecified sex crimes that allegedly took place in 2011. In August of 2018, the Los Angeles District’s Attorney office announced that it was declining to pursue that case because of a lack of corroborating evidence. At that time, Manson’s attorney, Howard E. King, told The Hollywood Reporter that the “allegations made to the police were and are categorically denied by Mr. Warner and are either completely delusional or part of a calculated attempt to generate publicity…. Any claim of sexual impropriety or imprisonment at that, or any other, time is false.”
Here are excerpts from other statements that named Manson on Monday:
“I continue to suffer from PTSD, and struggle with depression. I stayed in touch with quite a few people who went through their own traumas, under his control. As we all struggled, as survivors do, to get on with our lives, I’d keep hearing stories disturbingly similar to our own experiences. It became clear the abuse he’s caused; he continues to inflict on so many and I cannot stand by and let this happen to others. Brian Warner needs to be held accountable.”
“I have been afraid to bring any spotlight upon myself as to avoid winding up in his crosshairs again. As a result of the way he treated me, I suffer from mental health issues and PTSD that have affected my personal and professional relationships, self-worth, and personal goals. I believe he gets off on ruining people’s lives. I stand in support of all that have and all will come forward. I want to see Brian held accountable for his evil.”
“I have night terrors, PTSD, anxiety, and mostly crippling OCD. I try to wash constantly to get him out or off of me…. I am coming forward so he will finally stop.”
“It has taken me five years to speak out and say that I was in an abusive relationship. I have been diagnosed with PTSD and still suffer from nightmares. I blocked out a lot of the memories, but the feelings remain and manifest in various ways. The reason I’m finally sharing this traumatic experience is for my healing and because I’m done being silent. I don’t believe it’s fair for someone to not be held accountable for their horrific actions. I’m not a victim. I’m a survivor.”
Among the people to speak out in support of Wood and the other women on Monday was Manson’s former fiancee, Rose McGowan, who posted a statement on Twitter that read, in part: “I stand with Evan Rachel Wood and other brave women who have come forward.”
In addition to his career as a musician, Manson has also worked regularly as an actor. He’s appeared in a number of films as well as television programs like American Gods, Salem, Sons of Anarchy, and The New Pope. He was set to appear in the 2021 season of AMC’s horror anthology Creepshow, but AMC has told V.F. that it will no longer air the segment of the episode starring Manson. There may be more fallout to come. California state senator Susan Rubio is calling for the FBI and the DOJ to launch an investigation into the allegations.
In a 2019 interview, Wood said, “I used to think being strong was not being affected. And now, to me, being strong is letting it affect you but being able to move past it, and seeing the pain, walking through it, letting it flow through you, and then letting it leave. You can break and still be strong.”
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