Marilyn Manson Denies He Raped Evan Rachel Wood on Music Video Set
Through his legal team, rock singer Marilyn Manson has denied the accusation made by his ex-fiancée Evan Rachel Wood that she was "essentially raped" by the musician on a music video set.
Wood makes the claim in a new documentary based on her life and activism, Phoenix Rising, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival this week. The actress alleges she was "essentially raped on camera" by Manson, the rock star whose real name is Brian Warner, during the filming of his 2007 music video for "Heart-Shaped Glasses."
On Tuesday (Jan. 25), an attorney for Manson, Howard King, responded in a statement that Manson "did not have sex with Evan on that set, and she knows that is the truth." (via People)
The lawyer's statement continued, "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."
Content warning: The following contains descriptions of alleged sexual assault.
Last year, several women accused Manson of sexual and other types of abuse, sparked by an initial allegation from Wood. The musician is now facing lawsuits related to the horrific accusations and is currently being investigated by the LA County Sheriff.
In 2007, Wood and Manson were dating, and she agreed to appear in his video for "Heart-Shaped Glasses (When the Heart Guides the Hand)" from the singer's Eat Me, Drink Me album. However, in Phoenix Rising, she says she was sexually assaulted on set.
The music video opens with a scene showing Wood and Manson kissing and engaging in theatrical sex. The song itself was inspired by Wood. (Wood and Manson went public with their relationship in January 2007, the year Wood turned 20 and Manson turned 38.)
"We had discussed a simulated sex scene," Wood says in Phoenix Rising, "but once the cameras were rolling, he started penetrating me for real. I had never agreed to that. I’m a professional actress, I have been doing this my whole life. I’d never been on a set that unprofessional in my life up until this day. It was complete chaos, and I did not feel safe."
She continues, "It was a really traumatizing experience filming the video. I didn't know how to advocate for myself or know how to say no because I had been conditioned and trained to never talk back."
Wood adds, "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. 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."
In February 2021, Wood claimed Manson "started grooming me when I was a teenager and horrifically abused me for years." At least four others revealed their accusations against him simultaneously. Actress Esmé Bianco eventually joined them.
Manson first replied that the allegations were "horrible distortions of reality. My intimate relationships have always been entirely consensual with like-minded partners. Regardless of how … others are now choosing to misrepresent the past, that is the truth."
In July, a lawyer for Manson claimed Bianco and others were co-conspirators "trying to conflate the imagery and artistry of Warner's 'shock rock' stage persona … with fabricated accounts of abuse."
Manson has mostly laid low since the accusations surfaced, apart from a handful of appearances with Kanye West, some leading to speculation that Manson might have turned to Christianity.
See a timeline of the Marilyn Manson allegations below.
If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, resources are available to help. Please visit the website for RAINN (Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network) or call them at 800-656-HOPE (800-656-4673).