In 2018, the actor Evan Rachel Wood testified before a House Judiciary Committee in support of the Sexual Assault Survivors’ Bill of Rights. “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 said at the time.
Now, three years later, the 33-year-old is getting specific. “The name of my abuser is Brian Warner, also known to the world as Marilyn Manson,” she wrote on Instagram early Monday morning. “He started grooming me when I was a teenager and horrifically abused me for years. I was brainwashed and manipulated into submission.”
Wood was 18 when she met the then 36-year-old singer. They dated on and off until 2010, seven months after getting engaged. Manson did not handle the breakups well; the year prior, he told Spinthat he once reacted by calling her 158 times and attempting to impress his pain upon her with self harm. “I have fantasies every day about smashing her skull in with a sledgehammer,” Manson said. His representative later described the remark as “obviously a theatrical rock star interview promoting a new record, and not a factual account.”
Wood went on to explain why she’s now naming Manson as her alleged abuser, more than a decade after their final split. “I am done living in fear of retaliation, slander, or blackmail,” she wrote. “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.”
Wood was one of five of women to speak out accuse the singer of abuse on Monday. All four of those who also made statements on Instagram said that their alleged experiences resulted in PTSD. “As we all struggled, as survivors do, to get on with our lives, I’d keep hearing stories disturbingly similar to our own experiences,” Ashley Walters wrote. “It became clear the abuse he’s caused; he continues to inflict on so many and I cannot stand by and let this happen to others. Brian Warner needs to be held accountable.”
Manson has yet to respond to the allegations, though his team has “categorically denied” similar accusations in the past. In 2018, a police report for unspecified sex crimes, which Manson’s attorney called “completely delusional,” was filed against the singer. The L.A. district attorney ultimately declined to pursue the case, citing “absence of corroboration” and the statute of limitations’s expiration.