Actress Evan Rachel Wood says that her ex-fiancé, musician and actor Marilyn Manson, “horrifically abused” and “brainwashed” her, even grooming her as a teenager.
What are the details?
Wood, 33, says that Manson — real name Brian Warner — carried out heinous acts of abuse on her during their relationship.
In a Monday morning Instagram post, Wood wrote, “The name of my abuser is Brian Warner, also known to the world as Marilyn Manson. He started grooming me when I was a teenager and horrifically abused me for years. I was brainwashed and manipulated into submission.”
Her post continued, “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.”
Indeed, in 2009, Manson told Spin magazine that he often “fantasized about smashing [Wood’s] skull in with a sledgehammer” after they broke up at one point during the tumultuous affair.
Wood first spoke of experiencing partner abuse during a 2016 Rolling Stone interview. She did not announce the name of her alleged abuser at the time, saying only that she endured disturbing abuse.
In 2018, Wood testified before the House Judiciary Subcommittee in support of the Sexual Assault Survivors Bill of Rights, saying that she personally experienced “toxic mental, physical, and sexual abuse” and more. She did not announce the name of her alleged abuse at that time, either.
Wood’s latest allegations opened up a floodgate of other women who reported having been abused by the performer.
Some of the women report experiencing rape, torture, physical abuse, death threats, and more.
What other women are saying
According to a Monday Vanity Fair report, a bevy of other women have come forward with alleged experiences of their own.
In a since-deleted Instagram post, Ashley Walters, a woman who was seen in public with Manson in 2011, writes, “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.”
Another woman, Sarah McNeilly, said that she, too, suffered from PTSD after her entanglement with Manson.
“I have been afraid to bring any spotlight upon myself as to avoid winding up in his crosshairs again,” she admitted. “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.”
McNeilly said that she was initially lured in as Manson posed as “the perfect boyfriend,” “claiming he was just misunderstood.”
“I was locked in rooms when I was ‘bad,’ sometimes forced to listen to him entertaining other women,” she wrote. “Kept away from certain friends or if I didn’t he would threaten to come after them. I was told stories of others who tried to tell their story and their pets ended up dead. I wasn’t allowed to go near other artists working on the same set, as he told me they had aids and were disgusting and if I did so he would be very upset and ‘I wouldn’t want that.'”
She later wrote, “I was thrown up against a wall and he threatened to bash my face in with the baseball bat he was holding, for trying to get him to pick out a pair of pants prior to a music video.”
A woman named Gabriella added, “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 different 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.”
She also insisted that the performer forced her to take drugs, made fun of her black heritage, and cut her while the two had sex.
A woman by the name of Ashley Lindsay Morgan wrote, “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 to he will finally stop,”
In 2011, a police report was issued against Manson for “alleged sex crimes,” according to Vanity Fair. He denied all accusations of wrongdoing through his attorney, the outlet reported, and later issued a statement in 2020 denying any such allegations by Wood.
“Unfortunately we live in a time where people believe what they read on the internet, and feel free to say what they want with no actual evidence,” a spokesperson for the performer said at the time. “The effects can be catastrophic and promoting non-fact-based information is wholly irresponsible.”
In November, Loudwire asked Manson to respond to reports of abuse.
In a lengthy statement, a spokesperson for the entertainer said:
Personal testimony is just that, and we think it’s inappropriate to comment on that.
You then go on to talk about Manson being accused of “terrible things” by unnamed “critics” but offer no guidance on who these critics are and what these things are, so it’s not possible to comment.
You then mention Mickey Rourke. It is my understanding that Evan Rachel Wood dated multiple people around the time she was dating Manson. Basic internet research will give you a host of other names that have not come up in any of our discussions.
Your next couple of points deal with comments Manson made in Spin magazine in 2009. Your confusion around the timeline of this is extremely worrying. The comments in Spin where Manson had a fantasy of using a sledgehammer on Evan and he cut himself 158 times was obviously a theatrical rock star interview promoting a new record, and not a factual account. The fact that Evan and Manson got engaged six months after this interview would indicate that no one took this story literally.
You go on to talk about Manson commenting on sexual harassment, Me Too and specifically the experiences of his ex partner Rose McGowan. These are all issues that Manson has publicly addressed and are available online. Please see Channel 4 interview from 15th December 2017.
Manson has never shied away from public comment – equally he does not have to make the same comment twice.
There will be no further comment on specific songs. Your journalist had the opportunity to ask Manson about his music – one of only two interviews granted in the UK – and he chose not to. Trying to weave one section of one song from an artist with a 30 plus year career to fit a narrative is both disingenuous and troublesome.
You mention Manson’s ex fiancée Rose McGowan in your questions. Rose is one of the bravest and most outspoken figureheads of the Me Too movement. Manson remains friends with McGowan and she talks very fondly of their three a half years together. There are multiple sources worldwide. I link to a Washington Post article on McGowan’s memoir ‘Brave’ (2018).
You fail to mention Manson’s ex-wife Dita Von Teese, who remains good friends with Manson. Quoting from a Female First article published in 2018, ‘Dita admits she has been “lucky” to avoid any abusive episodes in the entertainment industry in her career’.
There are also numerous articles over multiple years where Evan Rachel Wood speaks very positively about her relationship with Manson. In NetAPorters.com’s The Edit (2015): “I wouldn’t trade any of [our relationship],” Wood told the mag. “I appreciate everything he taught me. I just don’t think we were right for each other.”
Finally you talk about death threats. Manson knows all about those – he has had many. He has spent his career being blamed for everything from Columbine to teenage suicide. Unfortunately, we live in a time where people believe what they read on the Internet, and feel free to say what they want with no actual evidence. The effects can be catastrophic and promoting non fact based information is wholly irresponsible. All we can try and do, as the media and individuals, is to use facts and truth and not hide behind gossip and conjecture to further our own agendas.