Evan Rachel Wood ‘Expected’ Marilyn Manson Lawsuit as ‘Retaliation that Keeps Survivors Quiet’

Wood said she is "not scared" of the Manson suit ahead of the March 15 "Phoenix Rising" premiere on HBO.
Evan Rachel Wood arrives at the HBO's WESTWORLD Season 3 Premiere held at the TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, CA on Thursday, ​March 5, 2020. (Photo By Sthanlee B. Mirador/Sipa USA)(Sipa via AP Images)
Evan Rachel Wood
Sipa USA via AP

Evan Rachel Wood is standing her ground.

The “Westworld” star revealed that she is “not scared” of the lawsuit filed against her by Brian Warner, aka Marilyn Manson, ahead of the March 15 premiere of HBO’s two-part documentary “Phoenix Rising.

Wood explained on the March 14 episode of “The View” that she was “lured into a false sense of security” by Manson. “Well in the first place, I was not drawn to him, he was drawn to me,” Wood said. “He approached me under the guise of work, false promises, and that is part of the grooming process.”

Wood alleged in “Phoenix Rising” that Manson “essentially raped” her on camera while filming the 2007 music video for “Heart-Shaped Glasses.” Wood was 19 years old at the time, and alleged that she was given absinthe on set to the point that she was barely conscious; the video features Manson and Wood having sex while fake blood is poured over them. Manson has denied the allegation.

“We did not have sex on set. I was raped on set,” Wood said on the talk show. “The acts of violence that he committed against me and a number of other victims, men and women, are absolutely horrific. But the most insidious thing that he did and that people like him do is they completely fracture your sense of self. He made me forget who I was, and it’s taken me years to remember, and it’s taken me years to get back to myself.”

Wood cited that there is a “pattern of abuse” which “means it’s calculated, and that means he’s not going to stop until he is stopped.”

Following the 2022 Sundance premiere of “Phoenix Rising,” Manson filed a defamation lawsuit over Wood’s sexual and mental abuse allegations, calling them a “malicious falsehood.”

Manson’s attorney Howard King said in a statement at the time that “of all the false claims that Evan Rachel Wood has made about Brian Warner, her imaginative retelling of the making of the ‘Heart-Shaped Glasses’ music video 15 years ago is the most brazen and easiest to disprove, because there were multiple witnesses.”

While on “The View,” Wood noted her relationship with Manson was “very much sex on demand.”

“I can’t obviously speak about any of the specific allegations of the lawsuit, but I’m not scared,” Wood continued. “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 though, and this is part of the retaliation that keeps survivors quiet. This is why people don’t want to come forward. This was expected.”

Wood added, “I am very confident that I have the truth on my side and that the truth will come out. This is clearly timed before the documentary…I’m not doing this [documentary] 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. So people can think whatever they want about me. I have to let the legal process run its course, and I’m steady as a rock.”

“Phoenix Rising” captures Wood’s experience as a survivor of domestic violence to pursue justice, heal trauma, and reclaim her story after escaping a dangerous, almost decade-long relationship. The film also charts Wood’s advocacy and activism work, which includes co-authoring and successfully lobbying for passage of The Phoenix Act, state legislation that extends the statute of limitations for domestic violence cases in California.

Two-part documentary “Phoenix Rising” premieres March 15, starting with “Phoenix Rising: Don’t Fall,” followed by “Phoenix Rising: Stand Up” on March 16, airing on HBO. Both episodes will be available to stream on HBO Max.

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