Editor’s note: This story contains descriptions of domestic violence. If you or someone you know needs help, contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline, 1-800-799-7233 or call the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay by dialing 2-1-1.
Actress Evan Rachel Wood accused ex-fiancé Marilyn Manson of abusing her “for years,” naming him as the man she has referred to in conversations about being a survivor of domestic violence.
Wood, 33, has long spoken of the abuse she suffered at the hands of an unnamed ex, including testifying before a House Judiciary Subcommittee in an effort to get the Sexual Assault Survivors Bill of Rights passed in all 50 states.
“The name of my abuser is Brian Warner, also known to the world as Marilyn Manson,” the “Westworld” star wrote on Instagram Monday morning. “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.”
The couple went public with their relationship in 2007, when she was 19 and he was 38, and got engaged in 2010, but split later that year.
Wood has spent the last half-decade using her celebrity in the form of activism against domestic violence.
“My experience with domestic violence was this: 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 told the House Judiciary Subcommittee in 2018 without naming her abuser.
A year later, she testified in front of the California Senate in support of the Phoenix Act, which she created and which raises the statute of limitations on domestic violence to five years from three. There, she said her abuser “had bouts of extreme jealousy, which would often result in him wrecking our home, cornering me in a room, and threatening me.”
“I mustered the courage to leave several times, but he would call my house incessantly and threaten to kill himself,” Wood testified.
“On one occasion, I returned to try and defuse the situation, he cornered me in our bedroom, and asked me to kneel. Then he tied me up by my hands and feet. Once I was restrained he beat me and shocked sensitive parts of my body with a torture device called a violet wand. To him it was a way for me to prove my loyalty. The pain was excruciating. It felt like I left my body and a part of me died that day.”
California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed the Phoenix Act into law in October 2019 and it took effect in January 2020.
In a 2009 interview with Spin, Manson, now 52, said he has “fantasies every day about smashing (Wood’s) skull in with a sledgehammer.” When asked about the quote by Metal Hammer last year, Manson hung up on the reporter and his representative said it was “obviously a theatrical rock star interview promoting a new record and not a factual account.”
Representatives for Manson did not immediately return a request for comment.
Several other women stepped forward with similar allegations against the singer Monday, including one who claimed Manson “gets off on ruining people’s lives.”
“I was emotionally abused, terrorized and scarred. I was locked in rooms when I was ‘bad,’ sometimes forced to listen to him entertaining other women. Kept away from certain friends or if I didn’t he would threaten to come after them. I was told stories of others who tried to tell their story and their pets ended up dead,” Sarah McNeilly wrote on Instagram.
“As a result of the way he treated me, I suffer from mental health issues and PTSD that have affected my personal and professional relationships, self-worth and personal goals.”
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