Marilyn Manson responds to allegations he ‘raped’ Evan Rachel Wood on music video set

Marilyn Manson responds to allegations he ‘raped’ Evan Rachel Wood on music video set

Marilyn Manson has denied “essentially raping” Evan Rachel Wood on camera while filming a music video in 2007.

In new documentary Phoenix Rising, which premiered at Sundance Film Festival on Sunday (23 January), Wood says that Manson – real name Brian Warner – “started penetrating me for real” during a “sex scene” that was supposed to be “simulated”.

Wood, who was 20 at the time, alleges that she was given absinthe on the set of the video, in which she was styled on a character from Stanley Kubrick’s 1962 film Lolita, about a man who becomes sexually obsessed with an underage girl.

“It’s nothing like I thought it was going to be,” Wood says in the documentary. “We’re doing things that were not what was pitched to me. We had discussed a simulated sex scene, but once the cameras were rolling, he started penetrating me for real. I had never agreed to that … It was complete chaos.”

“I did not feel safe,” she adds. “No one was looking after me. It was a really traumatising experience filming the video. I felt disgusting and that I had done something shameful, and I could tell that the crew was uncomfortable, and nobody knew what to do.”

Wood says in the documentary that Manson, who was 38 at the time, “coerced” her “into a commercial sex act under false pretences”.

“That’s when the first crime was committed against me,” she says. “I was essentially raped on camera.”

In a response to The Independent, Manson’s lawyer, Howard King, said: “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.

“Evan was not only fully coherent and engaged during the three-day shoot but also heavily involved in weeks of pre-production planning and days of post-production editing of the final cut. The simulated sex scene took several hours to shoot with multiple takes using different angles and several long breaks in between camera setups.

“Brian did not have sex with Evan on that set, and she knows that is the truth.”

Marilyn Manson denies all allegations (Getty Images)
Marilyn Manson denies all allegations (Getty Images)

In the documentary, Wood claims that Manson told her she “was supposed to tell people we had this great, romantic time and none of that was the truth”.

She adds: “I was scared to do anything that would upset Brian in any way. The video was just the beginning of the violence that would keep escalating over the course of the relationship.”

Wood alluded to being a domestic abuse and sexual assault survivor in several interviews over the years, but did not publicly accuse Manson by name until February last year.

“The name of my abuser is Brian Warner, known to the world as Marilyn Manson,” she wrote in a post to Instagram. “He started grooming me as a teenager and horrifically abused me for years.”

The same day that Wood shared her allegations, four other women accused Manson of mental, physical and emotional abuse, and sexual and physical violence. He has now been accused of abuse by more than 12 women, including Game of Thrones actor Esme Bianco.

Evan Rachel Wood said that she was ‘essentially raped’ by Marilyn Manson on music video set in 2007 (Getty Images)
Evan Rachel Wood said that she was ‘essentially raped’ by Marilyn Manson on music video set in 2007 (Getty Images)

Manson previously denied all claims of abuse, calling them “horrible distortions of reality”.

Part one of the two-part Phoenix Rising airs in full later this year on HBO. Elsewhere in the documentary, Wood said that Manson had an “obsession” with Hitler and called the Nazi leader “the first rock star”.

If you have been raped or sexually assaulted, you can contact your nearest Rape Crisis organisation for specialist, independent and confidential support. For more information, visit their website here.

If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic abuse, you can call the 24-hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline, run by Refuge, on 0808 2000 247, or visit their website here.