The following story details intense abuse allegations that may be triggering for some readers.
Marilyn Manson, the so-called “Antichrist Superstar,” is an honorary minister of the Church of Satan (via Rolling Stone). In the 1990s, the goth rocker (born Brian Warner) borrowed his stage-name from cult killer Charles Manson and took Ozzy Osbourne’s bite-the-head-off-a-bat schtick to new levels of transgressive performance art: he’s simulated abortions and sex acts on stage, he was arrested for urinating on an audience, and he once reportedly threatened to kill the family of a Spin magazine editor, per MTV News.
Child actor-turned-movie star Evan Rachel Wood has faced her own demons. At 22, she attempted suicide and checked herself into a psychiatric hospital. “By the time I had reached that point where people wanted to give me help … I was mad at them for not helping me sooner,” Wood told Self. Her adult life has been mired PTSD from childhood traumas and the toxic relationships that followed, and she admitted she sometimes sits “alone and screaming at the top of [her] lungs because you just gotta get it out.”
At only 18, Wood met 36-year-old Manson in 2005. Two years later, the actor starred in Manson’s video for “Heart-Shaped Glasses.” Wood told GQ (via the Chicago Tribune), “At the end of the video, we’re kissing and it’s raining blood — and for me, that was one of the most romantic moments of my entire life.” The couple got engaged in 2010, but things quickly soured, and they called it off only eight months later. We now finally know why.
If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or text HOME to the Crisis Text Line at 741741.
Evan Rachel Wood came out
Were Marilyn Manson not an admitted sadist with a myriad of alleged violent sexual desires, it’s possible he and Even Rachel Wood wouldn’t have worked out anyway. Only months after the actor broke off her engagement with the rocker, she told Esquire about her love of another gender-bending music maker, David Bowie. “So I was always into very androgynous things,” she said. “Guys, girls … I’m into androgyny in general.”
Wood went on to make it more clear, “I’m up for anything. Meet a nice guy, meet a nice girl.” She even claimed she wanted to “marry” her Mildred Pierce co-star, Kate Winslet, if the opportunity ever arose. (Yeah, get in line.) Wood has also revealed she knew she was bisexual all the way back in high school, but understandably didn’t feel comfortable coming out like so many kids do today (the early aughts were a different time).
“I can’t even imagine how different my life would’ve been if I could have just been who I was,” Wood told Self in 2019. The actor said she’d actually been dating women openly for most of her career, but whenever photos have surfaced of her with women, people always assume it’s another “gal pal.” When it comes to those romances, however, Wood explained she likes to take the lead, telling Esquire, “Yeah, I’m more kind of like the guy when it comes to girls. I’m the dominant one. I’m opening the doors, I’m buying dinner. Yeah, I’m romantic.”
Evan Rachel Wood opened up about her experiences with sexual assault
In 2016, at age 29, Even Rachel Wood dropped a bomb. “I was raped,” she admitted to Rolling Stone. HBO’s mega-budget sci-fi opus Westworld had just premiered — in some ways her breakout role. Wood plays the series lead, Dolores, a conscious but semi-amnesiac pleasure robot, trapped in the recursive nightmare of a high-tech, Wild-West theme park, her lithe, porcelain-skinned android body used as a disposable damsel for the “violent delights” of villainous resort guests. Now, she was admitting this simulation hit home.
Wood revealed she was actually raped twice: once “by the owner of a bar,” and once by a “significant other” — but did not name either attacker. As of this writing, Wood has not outright accused ex-fiancé Marilyn Manson of this. And at the time, she was only willing to speak out and then fold that pain into her art. “I mean, your demons never fully leave,” the actor told the magazine. “But when you’re using them to create something else, it almost gives them a purpose and feels like none of it was in vain. I think that’s how I make peace with it. Westworld? Good God. I left so much in that first season and never looked back.”
It was, oddly, a slightly tossed off revelation in an otherwise breezy interview full of talk about parenting, karaoke bars, and mini-van models — and it left readers wondering if she would ever return to the topic of the sexual violence that had riven her younger life. She would.
Evan Rachel Wood testified about her abuse
Even Rachel Wood took up this issue again in 2018, testifying before Congress in support of a Sexual Assault Survivors’ Bill of Rights Act, according to People. That’s when the actor first delved into the specifics of the real-life horrors of her relationships past. She revealed that, one day, “[I woke] up to the man that claimed to love me raping what he believed to be my unconscious body, and the worst part, sick rituals of binding me up by my hands and feet to be mentally and physically tortured until my abuser felt I had proven my love for them.”
Wood claimed that in this moment, while tied up, her attacker and former partner also berated her with unspeakable taunts, including, “I could kill you right now.” This was not some sexual role play gone too far — Wood genuinely feared for her life. She then revealed a gut-wrenching irony: this abuse prepared her for the dissociation of a second assault, when another assailant “pushed onto the floor of a locked storage closet” and raped her as she began to “disappear.”
Noting that the relationship abuse she suffered actually made her a more pliable victim for this second assault, Wood claimed that this first abuser broke her spirit with “toxic mental, physical, and sexual abuse, which started slow, but escalated over time, including threats against my life, severe gaslighting and brainwashing.” Still, she declined to name either attacker.
Evan Rachel Wood alleged Marilyn Manson abused her
Evan Rachel Wood has claimed that Marilyn Manson began “grooming” her as a teen for what was to come in their tumultuous relationship. But she admitted that, in the beginning, the romance was thrilling — an act of rebellion. “I met somebody that promised freedom and expression and no judgments,” the actor told Rolling Stone in 2016. “And I was craving danger and excitement. I looked at my mother one day and said, ‘Mom, I’m gonna get on this tour bus for eight months and see the world and have a crazy journey and find myself, and if people aren’t OK with that, I’m sorry, but I can’t live my life for other people.'”
But in February 2021, Wood took to Instagram, seemingly to allege what had long been rumored: that the attacker from her emotional congressional testimony was the singer of her adolescent dreams who became a waking nightmare. “The name of my abuser is Brian Warner, also known to the world as Marilyn Manson,” she claimed. “He started grooming me when I was a teenager and horrifically abused me for years. I was brainwashed and manipulated into submission.”
Wood added, “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.”
Even Rachel Wood claimed an ex threatened to 'have her killed'
Evan Rachel Wood ended her engagement to Marilyn Manson in 2010, but it wasn’t until 2021 that she named Manson as the alleged torturer she had been hinting at for years. Wood has also intimated the reason for her reticence is simple: fear. “They threatened to kill me or have me killed,” she claimed to Self in 2019, over a year before publicly naming Manson, and still using the ambiguous pronoun “they.”
“I’m so scared,” Wood went on to say. “People are like, ‘Why don’t you name your abuser?’ And I’m like, ‘I tried, I tried;’ I did all the things that I was supposed to do and I was told there’s nothing I could do. It was too late.” The Westworld star also described a slow descent into a psychological prison of an abusive relationship, which left her feeling trapped even long after it was over. “It’s not always that easy to leave,” she said. “They take away your privacy or take away your freedoms. And it happens slowly and steadily until one day you look around, you go, ‘Oh, my God, I’m trapped here. I am trapped.'”
Years after the relationship ended, Wood was still afraid to even walk out her front door. “There’s nobody out there waiting to kill you,” she tried to tell herself, but explained to Self that the fear simply took over. “Your body is paralyzed. It just won’t do it, because the memory is still in your body.”
Marilyn Manson seemingly 'bragged' about abusing Evan Rachel Wood
As a legal matter, allegations like the ones Evan Rachel Wood have made against Marilyn Manson often come down to he-said-she-said. And some of that has happened (more on that below). But Manson may have made defending himself more difficult after he appeared to admit some of Wood’s key claims to Spin in 2009, a year after he and the actor briefly split, prior to their short-lived 2010 engagement.
Manson openly “bragged” about the mind games he allegedly played on Wood, writes NBC News, calling his abuse of the actor one of the “worst kept secrets in the music industry.” Manson told Spin he called Wood some “158 times” while engaging in acts of self-mutilation. “I wanted to show her the pain she put me through,” he said. “It was like, ‘I want you to physically see what you’ve done.'” The rocker also told the music mag about his fantasy of murdering the young actor he began dating when she was just a teen. “The song ‘I Want to Kill You Like They Do in the Movies’ is about my fantasies,” Manson declared. “I have fantasies every day about smashing her skull in with a sledgehammer.”
In November 2020, Manson’s reps told Metal Hammer that the comments weren’t literal and were “obviously a theatrical rock star interview promoting a new record, and not a factual account,” adding, “The fact that Evan and Manson got engaged six months after this interview would indicate that no one took this story literally.”
Did Marilyn Manson poison Evan Rachel Wood's other relationships?
Before Evan Rachel Wood ever named Marilyn Manson as her abuser, she was open about dealing with the long-tailed aftermath of the horrors she endured during a relationship and after. “I repressed my trauma for so many years,” she told Bustle in 2019, “to the point where I really barely even discussed it with my husband at the time.”
After splitting with Manson in 2010, Wood married fellow actor, and dancer, Jamie Bell, in 2012. The couple split in 2014, but the decision was mutual, their rep told US Weekly. The brief marriage yielded in a healthy baby boy in 2013, and seemed to resolve on good terms. “They both love and respect one another and will of course remain committed to co-parenting their son,” their rep added.
Despite this whirlwind two-year romance that went all the way down the aisle and then straight to a maternity ward, Wood conceded that she still couldn’t fully open up about her past. “It was hard for me to even talk about with even my most intimate partners because I hadn’t processed it,” she told Bustle. “I hadn’t made sense of it in my own head. So, how could I really even begin to talk about it?” That dread followed her all the way to Congress: “Testifying about my abuse was the most terrifying thing I’ve ever done. I knew that I had no protection, and I knew that my abuser was going to hear it.”
Marilyn Manson denied Evan Rachel Wood's allegations as more women came forward
In February 2021, following Evan Rachel Wood naming Marylin Manson as her alleged abuser, the rocker was dropped from his record label and his management agency, according to Deadline. Manson took to Instagram in response to the accusations: “Obviously, my life and my art 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.”
Manson’s ex-wife, burlesque dancer Dita Von Teese, also came forward via Instagram, saying that Wood’s claims “do not match [her] experience” during her seven-year marriage with the singer. However, Manson’s adult movie star ex, Jenna Jameson, claimed to the Daily Mail that he often bit her and “fantasized about burning [her] alive.” Wood then posted IG stories of four more women sharing their own Manson accusations, claiming similar patterns of “sexual assault, psychological abuse, and various forms of violence,” according to the Independent. One woman named Sarah McNeilly alleged, “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 [Manson] held accountable for his evil.”
After Wood’s emotional 2018 testimony, she described to Bustle something she may now be feeling again: “It was … validating because I knew that I wasn’t crazy, and I wasn’t the only one, and it wasn’t my fault.”
If you or someone you know has been the victim of sexual assault, you can call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) or visit RAINN.org for additional resources.
If you or someone you know is dealing with domestic abuse, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233 or TTY 1−800−787−3224. You can also find more information, resources, and support at www.thehotline.org.
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