For years, actor Evan Rachel Wood has alleged abuse at the hands of an unnamed ex. Early Monday morning, she confirmed on Instagram that the man in question is Brian Warner, better known as famed shock rocker Marilyn Manson. Four other women joined her in solidarity, alleging their own experiences with Manson that included sexual assault, psychological abuse and violence.
“The name of my abuser is Brian Warner, also known to the world as Marilyn Manson,” Wood wrote on Instagram. “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.”
As of this writing, Manson has not responded.
Wood was 18 when she met Manson, who is twice her age. In 2018, she supported an effort to pass a nationwide Sexual Assault Survivors Bill of Rights by testifying in front of a House Judiciary Subcommittee, detailing “..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 did not name anyone at the time.
The internet has speculated about Manson’s role in Wood’s life in the past. In 2009, Manson gave an interview to SPIN Magazine in which he said, “I have fantasies every day about smashing [Wood’s] skull in with a sledgehammer.” The pair were engaged in 2010 and broke up that same year. In 2018, a police report was filed against Manson accusing him of sex crimes but the Los Angeles District’s Attorney office said there wasn’t enough corroborating evidence to pursue the case. Manson’s lawyer told the Hollywood Reporter that “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.”
The other women who joined Wood on Monday were Ashley Walters, Sarah McNeilly, Ashley Lindsay Morgan and a woman known as Gabriella. All of them detailed similar experiences of psychological abuse, coercion and threats of violence.
In the 90s, Manson’s music was a source of controversy for his gleefully provocative public persona, a millennial spin on the Aleister Crowley aesthetic of older acts like Kiss and Ozzy Osbourne. At the time, any attempt to critique his gleeful embrace of sex and violence was written off as prudishness and Manson became a star. He’s recently acted on shows like American Gods, Salem and Sons of Anarchy.
Wood most recently appeared on Westworld and voiced Queen Iduna on Frozen II.