Evan Rachel Wood speaks out on being ‘publicly gaslit’ over Marilyn Manson accusations

Frazer Harrison | Getty Images

A year ago, Marilyn Manson was hit by disturbing allegations of abuse from his former fiancée, Evan Rachel Wood. In an Instagram post, Wood said Manson had “brainwashed and manipulated” her and described him as “dangerous”. Over the following months, four other women filed lawsuits against Manson alleging similar behavior, resulting in an investigation being opened on him by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

Now, Wood has opened up about what the last 12 months have been like for her. On Jameela Jamil’s I Weigh podcast Wood discussed her recent HBO documentary Phoenix Rising, which chronicles her battle to extend the statute of limitation on domestic violence in California.

After her experience, Wood says she now understands why so many women don’t press charges against abusers:

After being involved in a large investigation like the one I’m involved in now, I really started to understand why people pull out of investigations and why victims recount their statements and why they go forward and then pull back. Because man, it’s no joke having to go through the things that have happened to you in excruciating detail. Questions you’ve never been asked. And to have to go back there over and over again, to be publicly gaslit on a large scale or even a small scale, it’s very, very re-traumatizing.

She continued:

I sit here knowing I’m not lying, knowing I’m telling the truth, but people make you feel crazy. So I have to sit there and meditate and go through the things that have happened to me and go, ‘Did this happen to you? Yes. Did this happen? Yes.’ And I go through the details and replay them in my head just so no one can take my truth away from me, because they try, they really try to break you down.

Manson has denied any abuse ever took place, with his legal team claiming that several of his accusers have collaborated in order to concoct “twisted tales that bear no resemblance to reality” and is suing Wood for defamation.

Wood cannot talk about the specifics of the suit, but said in an interview with Rolling Stone that the public needs to know what Manson is really like:

I am very confident that I have the truth on my side and that the truth will come out. .. I’m not doing this [film] to clear my name. I’m doing this to protect people. I’m doing this to sound the alarm that there is a dangerous person out there and I don’t want anybody getting near him. So people can think whatever they want about me. I have to let the legal process run its course, and I’m steady as a rock.

We should see further updates from the legal battles over the course of the year, including whether Manson will succeed in putting his case before a jury.

Wood’s two-episode documentary Phoenix Rising aired on HBO on March 15 and 16 and is now available on HBO Max.

About the author

David James

David James

London-based writer about everything and anything. Willing to crawl over rusty nails to write about Metal Gear Solid or Resident Evil.