Last month, upon the release of the Phoenix Rising trailer featuring Evan Rachel Wood, Marilyn Manson decided to sue the actress. Phoenix Rising is not only a documentary about Woods’ work to pass California’s Phoenix Act in 2019, which extended the statute of limitations on abuse charges, but it also covers her relationship with Manson. The Marilyn Manson lawsuit filed against Wood and her partner is for defamation, fraud, and conspiracy.
As reported by Loudwire, Wood made a recent appearance on The View to talk about the HBO documentary Phoenix Rising, as well as her past relationship with that of Marilyn Manson (legal name, Brian Warner).
In speaking about her past relationship with Manson, she talks about the beginning of their relationship when she was 19, as well as discusses how the process of grooming works.
When asked about what first drew her to him, she clarified, “In the first place, I was not drawn to him — he was drawn to me.”
She continued, “He approached me under the guise of work, false promises. And that is part of the grooming process. He was grooming me the second he said hello. Grooming is when you present a false persona to somebody and you tell them lies to lure them into a false sense of security so that they become vulnerable around you. They start opening up, they start giving up their secrets and vulnerabilities. You’re mining information. It’s the epitome of a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Once they have the information, once they know that you feel safe, they know that the manipulation can start.”
Wood also spoke about her past suicide attempt at the age of 22, which happened during her relationship with Manson. “When somebody aids in the destruction of your self, and you forget who you are, you feel pretty broken and empty.” She went on to say that suicide was “another form of escape.”
However, this failed attempt at taking her life ended up being a “turning point” in her life, as Wood puts it. “I’m at the bottom so there’s no way to go but up,” Wood shared, then referring to herself as a phoenix rising from the ashes.
Wood also spoke to how the #MeToo movement gave her “a lot of hope” and that “domestic violence has had its day” and topics such as “grooming and gaslighting” are becoming more talked about as more folks understand the scope and depth of abuse.
She then spoke about the challenges survivors face from when it comes to shaming or victim blaming from society.
“Society around this issue is so geared around shame and victim blaming and that is by design. Even the way we speak about these things… we’re still asking victims the question why they didn’t leave. And the fact that we’re still asking that question tells me how much work there is to do. Nobody ever asks why the abuser didn’t leave. If he was so upset, if he hated you so much… ‘Why are you hitting her? Why don’t you just leave?’ We’re programmed to say these things and ask these questions, but we need to start asking different questions.”
When asked about the Marilyn Manson lawsuit against her, Wood shared the following:
“I can’t speak about any of the specific allegations of the lawsuit, but I am not scared. I am sad because this is how it works. This is what pretty much every survivor that tries to expose someone in a position of power goes through. This is part of the retaliation that keeps survivors quiet. This is why people don’t want to come forward. This was expected.
“I’m very confident I have the truth on my side and that the truth will come out and this this [lawsuit] is clearly timed before the documentary — there’s a reason. Again, I’m not doing this [film] to clear my name, I’m doing this to protect people. I’m doing this to sound the alarm that there is a dangerous person out there and I don’t want anybody getting near him. People can think whatever they want about me, I have to let the legal process run its course. I’m steady as a rock.”
“I have a platform. I’m privileged, I’m white. I have resources,” Wood shared while speaking to the major challenges that other survivors of abuse may have to face. “…And we should all be alarmed — I have these things in my corner and I’m still struggling.”
You can watch the full interview with Evan Rachel Wood on The View below.
In other Marilyn Manson related news, the rocker allegedly threatened legal action against a former assistant if she were to take part in Wood’s documentary. This former assistant has sued Manson for sexual assault.
The first part of the HBO documentary, Phoenix Rising, premiers tonight on HBO Max.
The Marilyn Manson lawsuit against Wood has been posted online for people to read. You can find that document here.
More on this story as it unfolds. If you or someone you care about is suffering abuse at the hands of their partner, please contact RAINN or call 800.656.HOPE (4673). Remember: you are not alone.
Words by: Michael Pementel