Evan Rachel Wood is speaking out about Marilyn Manson’s lawsuit against her.
The actress, 34, was sued by the singer, born Brian Hugh Warner, 53, for defamation, emotional distress, and “impersonation over the internet” after accusing him of sexual abuse in HBO’s two-part “Phoenix Rising” documentary. Wood went on The View Monday to speak about her past with Manson.
According to Wood, Manson “approached me under the guise of work, false promises, and that is part of the grooming process. He was grooming me from the second he said hello.”
How Wood Feels About The Defamation Lawsuit
The “Westworld” star claimed that Manson “essentially raped” her on-camera during a 2007 music video shoot of his song, “Heart-Shaped Glasses,” in her forthcoming documentary, which premieres on HBO today.
On March 2, Manson filed a defamation lawsuit against Wood.
During the interview, co-host Sunny Hostin asked Wood about Manson’s allegations in the complaint, including that she and girlfriend Illma Gore “made knowingly false statements” about the singer.
“I can’t speak about any of the specific allegations of the lawsuit,” she said. “But I am not scared.”
She 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 through,” adding, “This is part of the retaliation that keeps survivors quiet. This is why people don’t want to come forward. This was expected. I’m very confident that I have the truth on my side and that the truth will come out.”
She’s Not Worried
Wood also alleged that the lawsuit was “clearly timed” ahead of the release of her documentary.
“I’m not doing this to clear my name, I’m doing this to protect people,” she explained. “I’m doing this to sound the alarm that there’s a dangerous person out there, and I don’t want anybody getting near him. People can think what they want about me. I have to let the legal process run its course. I’m steady as a rock.”
Recounting The Past
The “Thirteen” star named Manson as her alleged abuser in February 2021 after first opening 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,” Wood wrote in an Instagram post at the time. “He started grooming me when I was a teenager and horrifically abused me for years. I was brainwashed and manipulated into submission.”
While on The View, the actress repeated her previous claims about what happened in Manson’s music video when she was 19. According to Wood, the “Disposable Teens” hitmaker provided drugs and alcohol and “raped” her on camera. Manson has denied the allegations through his attorney, Howard King.
Telling Her Story
“We did not have sex on set, I was raped on set,” Wood said. “When you’re inebriated like that, you can’t consent — especially as a minor.”
She continued, “He made me forget who I was. It’s taken me years to remember. It’s taken me years to get back to myself and even understand what had happened to me. I really thought I was the only one. I didn’t find out until much later that not only was I not the only one, but that there was a pattern to his abuse.”
Wood added, “That means it’s calculated. And that means he’s not going to stop until he’s stopped.”
What Made Wood Speak Up?
She also shared that a failed attempt to take her own life was a “turning point.”
“It made me think, ‘I guess there’s a reason why I’m here,” she noted. “I’m at the bottom so there’s nowhere to go but up. I always cite it as the best-worst thing that happened to me because it was when the phoenix rose from the ashes. That was the beginning.”
Manson’s attorney responded to Wood’s claims in a statement: “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.”
King added, “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.”