Marilyn Manson allegations under spotlight following Evan Rachel Wood documentary
In the new documentary Phoenix Rising, Evan Rachel Wood accuses Marilyn Manson of “essentially [raping her] on-camera” during the filming of his 2007 video for “Heart-Shaped Glasses”.
This is not the first time the actor has accused the disgraced musician of abuse, nor is she the first person to do so.
Find a full timeline of the allegations against Manson, below.
2001: Manson charged with assault and sexual misconduct
In December 2001, Manson was charged with assaulting security guard Joshua Keasler, who claimed that the musician spat on him and rubbed his crotch against the man’s head during a concert in Michigan.
Manson was charged with fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct along with misdemeanour assault and battery.
He was fined $4,000 and reached an undisclosed settlement with Keasler.
2018: Charlyne Yi makes harassment allegations
Yi, who starred in the hit medical drama House, accused Manson of harassing “just about every woman” on the show during a visit to the set in 2018.
They tweeted: “Ugh don’t even get me started on Marilyn Manson. Yes this happened a long time ago – on the last season of House he came on set to visit because he was a huge fan of the show & he harassed just about every woman asking us if we were going to scissor, rhino & called me a China man.”
1 February 2021: Evan Rachel Wood accuses Manson of grooming and abuse
Wood accused Manson of grooming her and subjecting her to abuse “for years”.
The Golden Globe-nominated star of Westworld shared a post on her Instagram page in which she detailed 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.”
Following the post, four other women – Game of Thrones star Esmé Bianco, model Sarah McNeilly, former assistant Ashley Walters and a woman who was identified only as Gabriella – came forward with allegations of abuse against him.
Manson dismissed all the claims as “horrible distortions of reality”.
His team had categorically denied similar allegations in the past.
Manson and Wood began their relationship in 2007, when Wood was 18 and Manson was 36. They were engaged in January 2010, but called off their relationship seven months later.
In 2009, Manson was quoted in a Spin article as saying of Wood: “I have fantasies every day about smashing her skull in with a sledgehammer.”
When the quote was resurfaced in 2020, Manson’s PR team responded by saying the comment was “obviously a theatrical rock star interview promoting a new record, and not a factual account”.
Wood had described an abusive relationship she had been in for several years with a man she met in her late teens during testimony given to the California Senate Public Safety Committee in April 2019.
6 February 2021: Wolf Alice star Ellie Rowsell claims Manson filmed up her skirt
Wolf Alice star Rowsell spoke out in support of Manson’s alleged victims and shared her own experiences of meeting him.
“Solidarity to Evan Rachel Wood and those calling out Marilyn Manson,” the British musician tweeted. “It’s sad to see people defending him, just because he put his depravity in plain sight doesn’t give him a free pass to abuse women?!
“I met Marilyn backstage at a festival a few years ago. After his compliments towards my band became more and more hyperbolic I became suspicious of his behaviour. I was shocked to look down and see he was filming up my skirt with a GoPro.”
Claiming that she was told by Manson’s tour manager that the singer “does this kind of thing all the time”, Rowsell continued: “If he does this kind of thing all the time why on earth has he been headlining festivals for so many years? When will we stop enabling misogynists on the account of their success? Women must feel safe in the male dominated world that is the music industry.
“I wasn’t sure whether to bring any of this up but Manson claims in his recent statement that his relationships were ‘entirely consensual’ - I don’t think he knows the meaning of consent if he goes around up-skirting young women at festivals. Thank you for your courage Evan [heart emoji].”
30 April 2021: Bianco files a lawsuit against Manson
Bianco claimed that Manson violated human trafficking laws by bringing her to California from England under the false pretences of roles in music videos and movies that never materialised.
She alleged that in 2009, Manson flew her to Los Angeles to shoot a video for the song “I Want To Kill You Like They Do In The Movies”.
Bianco claimed that she was expected to stay at Manson’s home instead of the hotel that had been planned.
According to the suit, Manson allegedly deprived Bianco of food and sleep, plied her with alcohol and drugs, locked her in a bedroom, whipped her, gave her electric shocks, tried to force her to have sex with another woman and threatened to enter her room and rape her during the night. The music video was never released.
The suit also stated that Manson allegedly brought Bianco to Los Angeles again in 2011, ostensibly to appear in his feature film Phantasmagoria, which was also never released.
During that visit, Bianco alleged that Manson would not allow her to leave home without his permission, chased her around their apartment with an axe, cut her with a “Nazi knife” without her consent and photographed the cuts and posted the pictures online, also without her consent.
The lawsuit said that Bianco had feared she would be in danger if she did not comply with Manson’s demands.
January 2022: Wood claims Manson “essentially raped her” in “Heart-Shaped Glasses” music video
Wood accused Marilyn Manson of “essentially [raping her] on-camera” during the filming of his 2007 video for “Heart-Shaped Glasses”.
The Golden Globe-nominated actor detailed her relationship with Manson, real name Brian Warner, in new documentary Phoenix Rising, which premiered Sunday 23 January at Sundance Film Festival.
In the music video for “Heart-Shaped Glasses”, from Manson’s sixth studio album Eat Me, Drink Me, the rock musician dressed Wood in sunglasses identical to those seen on the poster from Stanley Kubrick’s 1962 film Lolita, about a man who becomes sexually obsessed with an underage girl.
The video shows Manson appearing to have sex with Wood while the couple are drenched in fake blood.
“It’s nothing like I thought it was going to be,” Wood said in the documentary, according to multiple US media reports. “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 … It was complete chaos.”
“I did not feel safe,” she continued. “No one was looking after me. It was a really traumatising experience filming the video. I felt disgusting and that I had done something shameful, and I could tell that the crew was uncomfortable, and nobody knew what to do.”
Wood said in the documentary that she was “coerced into a commercial sex act under false pretences”.
“That’s when the first crime was committed against me,” she said. “I was essentially raped on-camera.”
Wood claimed that Manson was clear about how she should describe the making of the video in interviews: “I was supposed to tell people we had this great, romantic time and none of that was the truth. But I was scared to do anything that would upset Brian in any way. The video was just the beginning of the violence that would keep escalating over the course of the relationship.”
In a response to The Independent, Manson’s lawyer, Howard King, said: “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.
“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.”
If you have been raped or sexually assaulted, you can contact your nearest Rape Crisis organisation for specialist, independent and confidential support. For more information, visit their website here.
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic abuse, you can call the 24-hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline, run by Refuge, on 0808 2000 247, or visit their website here.