In February of this year, shock rocker Marilyn Manson was formally accused of abuse by his former girlfriend, actor Evan Rachael Wood. In the aftermath of this, Manson was also dropped by his label and accused of sexual assault by a former personal assistant. Now, in a new documentary, actress Evan Rachel Wood has opened up about her experiences with the singer, including finding out just how many people he abused.
In a new HBO documentary Phoenix Rising, the first part of which premiered this weekend at Sundance, Wood describes how learning how many people Manson had abused “was like finding out you dated a serial killer.” She went on to say that the moment she first felt that her relationship with the singer was terribly wrong was when he assaulted her during the making of the video for his song “Heart-Shaped Glasses.”
“We had discussed a simulated sex scene,” said Wood, as transcribed by Metal Hammer, “but once the cameras were rolling, he started penetrating me for real. I had never agreed to that. I’m a professional actress, I have been doing this my whole life, I’d never been on a set that unprofessional in my life up until this day. It was complete chaos, and I did not feel safe. No one was looking after me.
“It was a really traumatizing experience filming the video. I didn’t know how to advocate for myself or know how to say no because I had been conditioned and trained to never talk back—to just soldier through. I felt disgusting and like I had done something shameful, and I could tell that the crew was very uncomfortable and nobody knew what to do. I was coerced into a commercial sex act under false pretenses. That’s when the first crime was committed against me and I was essentially raped on camera.”
But Wood makes it clear her recent openness about her abuse isn’t her trying to get back at Manson, but a warning to others out there that this sort of behavior might continue.
“This isn’t about revenge, or, ‘He’s a monster and he needs to be punished and destroyed‘,” she says later in the film. “He’s already destroyed.”