On “Phoenix Rising,” which aired Sunday night at the Sundance Film Festival, the 34-year-old actress discussed the sexual abuse she experienced, as well as her tumultuous relationship with the 53-year-old singer, whose real name is Brian Hugh Warner, from 2006 to 2011.
The Sex Was ‘Real’
In the movie, set to premiere on HBO in March, Wood mentioned her appearance in his music video for “Heart-Shaped Glasses” in 2007, which showed the couple having sex. While fans thought they were only acting, Wood claimed that the intercourse really happened.
“We had discussed a simulated sex scene. But once the cameras were rolling, he started penetrating me for real,” the “Westworld” star recalled.
She continued, “I had never agreed to that … I’m a professional actress, I’ve been doing this my whole life; I’ve never been on a set that unprofessional in my life up until this day.”
The Worst Feeling
She said that the whole thing was “complete chaos and I did not feel safe — no one was looking after me … I felt disgusting and like I had done something shameful, and I could tell that the crew was very uncomfortable and nobody knew what to do.”
Wood added, “I was coerced into a commercial sex act under false pretenses. That’s when the first crime was committed against me — and I was essentially raped on camera.”
She then explained that she was “scared” to speak out about the incident at the time. Wood also said it took her a “really long time” to stop blaming herself for what happened.
Sharing Her Story
Wood discussed why she felt the need to tell her story in the documentary during a virtual Q&A.
“It’s time for me to tell the truth,” she said, adding, “It’s time for me to finally tell my side. I can’t have it told for me anymore and people are going to believe whatever they’re going to believe. It’s not my job to convince people. I’m not lying. It’s my job to tell the truth and that’s what I’ve done. It’s all I can do.”
Wood also noted that what she’s doing is not “about revenge or, like, he’s a monster and he needs to be punished and destroyed. He’s already destroyed.”
Manson addressed the allegations by releasing a statement through his lawyer, Howard King.
“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,” the statement read. “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.”
The “Thirteen” star officially named Manson as her alleged abuser in February last year. She first opened up about being sexually assaulted by a “significant other” in 2016.
“The name of my abuser is Brian Warner, also known to the world as Marilyn Manson. He started grooming me when I was a teenager and horrifically abused me for years,” Wood wrote in an Instagram post. “I was brainwashed and manipulated into submission. I am done living in fear of retaliation, slander, or blackmail.”
Fans Show Their Support
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Fans and several notable personalities commended her for speaking out.
“So proud to know you. Proud of you. You. You are amazing. Loved. Soulful. True. Capable. Brilliant. Healing,” fellow actress Selma Blair commented.
“So mf brave!!!! Sending you a forcefield of love to carry you through lil mama. Love you,” added another follower.
“A powerful important day ❤️ you have so much support and you’ve worked so hard to pave the possibility to free so many others,” quipped the third commenter.
“Just woke up to this! So proud of you dear brave sister of my heart. You are free and you’ve got the whole world at your back. You did it! No more hiding. No more fear. In the light now. In love,” a fourth comment read.
Creating A Bill
The film was directed by renowned filmmaker Amy Berg. Apart from the shocking claims, “Phoenix Rising” also documented Wood’s activism in creating the 2019 Phoenix Act — a bill that extended the statute of limitations for domestic violence from three years to five in California and North Carolina.
Manson’s Fantasies About Wood
As for Manson, he has consistently denied such claims in the past.
In an interview, he got candid about his split with Wood. He said he was depressed and felt “betrayed” by the actress.
“And every time I called her that day — I called 158 times — I took a razorblade and I cut myself on my face or on my hands,” he told Spin in 2009.
He told Wood, “I want you to physically see what you’ve done.”
The singer said the split helped inspire his album — The High End of Low.
“That damage is part of it, and the song ‘I Want to Kill You Like They Do in The Movies’ is about my fantasies,” Manson shared. “I have fantasies every day about smashing her skull in with a sledgehammer.”