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Evan Rachel Wood names Marilyn Manson in abuse allegations: ‘I am done living in fear of retaliation’

Evan Rachel Wood is pictured at the Season 3 premiere of “Westworld” in March 2020. (Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
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Evan Rachel Wood alleged Monday morning that musician Marilyn Manson “started grooming me when I was a teenager and horrifically abused me for years.” The Emmy-nominated actress has been outspoken about experiencing domestic abuse in the past but had never publicly identified anyone by name.

“The name of my abuser is Brian Warner, also known to the world as Marilyn Manson,” Wood, 33, wrote in a statement uploaded to her Instagram account, adding: “I was brainwashed and manipulated into submission. I am done living in fear of retaliation, slander, or blackmail. I am here to expose this dangerous man and call out the many industries that have enabled him, before he ruins any more lives.”

Four others have come forward with their own allegations of mental and physical abuse, first reported by Vanity Fair, which linked to statements from Ashley Walters, Sarah McNeilly, Ashley Lindsay Morgan and another woman identified solely as Gabriella. All of the women wrote that they suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. Wood shared their statements on her Instagram story, along with the account of a man named Dan Cleary, who said he worked for Warner’s touring band in 2007 and as his personal assistant in 2014 and 2015, when Cleary witnessed abusive behavior but was “afraid to say anything.”

Warner, 52, denied the allegations in an Instagram post Monday night, writing that “my art and my life have long been magnets for controversy, but these recent claims about me are horrible distortions of reality.”

“My intimate relationships have always been entirely consensual with like-minded partners,” he continued. “Regardless of how — and why — others are now choosing to misrepresent the past, that is the truth.”

Earlier Monday evening, Warner was dropped by his label, Loma Vista Recordings, which said in a statement shared with The Washington Post that it would also “cease to further promote his current album, effective immediately.” A spokesperson for AMC Networks confirmed Tuesday that Warner’s segment in an upcoming episode of the “Creepshow” anthology series would be replaced, and Starz publicly stated that it would “remove his performance” from a future episode of “American Gods.”

Warner and his band, also named Marilyn Manson, developed a cult following in the mid-1990s after Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails produced their debut album and released it on his label. Warner became a controversial figure in the music world as he became a chart-topping superstar, largely because of his reputation as what Spin magazine described in 2009 as “rock’s oversharing provocateur.”

Wood launched her acting career as a child and became involved with Warner when she was still a teenager. In the Spin interview, Warner said he called her 158 times on Christmas Day in 2008, when they were briefly broken up, and cut himself with a razor each time. He added that his song “I Want to Kill You Like They Do in the Movies” was inspired by his daily fantasy of “smashing in her skull with a sledgehammer.” The couple’s engagement was made public the next year, but they eventually ended the on-and-off relationship months later in 2010.

In a Rolling Stone profile published in November 2016, Wood said she attempted suicide at age 22 and had been abused, describing it as “physical, psychological, sexual.” She elaborated in an email sent to the journalist the day after the 2016 presidential election — “I don’t believe we live in a time where people can stay silent any longer,” she wrote — and later shared the full letter online. She said she had been raped twice, the first time by a significant other and the second by a bar owner.

In February 2018, Wood testified before Congress during a hearing about the Survivors’ Bill of Rights Act, passed federally in 2016 but that activists hoped would be implemented at the state level as well. She told CNN in an email that she had testified to “give a voice to survivors everywhere.”

“It’s the trauma that continues after the act itself that is overwhelming,” she wrote. “Survivors shouldn’t also be forced to jump through hurdles to hold their perpetrators accountable.”

Though Wood hadn’t identified Warner as her alleged abuser before Monday, the timing of events described in her allegations overlapped with their relationship. She testified before the California Senate in April 2019 on behalf of the Phoenix Act, designed to extend the statute of limitations on domestic violence felonies, and detailed her experience being groomed at 18 years old and later abused.

“By the time I realized I was in a bad situation, I felt completely trapped and terrified for my life,” Wood said in the hearing. She stated that her partner had isolated her from friends and family, monitored her cellphone and online activities, and “would not allow me to sleep until I participated in acts of fear, pain, torture and humiliation, which I felt powerless to stop.”

Warner abruptly ended an interview with Metal Hammer magazine in September after he was asked about Wood’s testimonies. The publication sent Warner’s representatives a list of follow-up questions, in response to which they issued a lengthy statement denying any wrongdoing.

This post has been updated.

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