Evan Rachel Wood is once again speaking out about her abusive relationship with Marilyn Manson. In her new documentary, Phoenix Rising, which premiered on Sunday at the Sundance Film Festival, the actress said Manson assaulted her while shooting the music video for “Heart-Shaped Glasses.”
The video, released in 2009, was directed by Manson and includes a sex scene between the musician and Wood. According to the actress, they discussed simulating the scene beforehand, but she says Manson did not follow through on their agreement and physically penetrated her without consent. During the first half of Phoenix Rising, Wood accused the singer of sexual abuse.
“I was coerced into a commercial sex act under false pretenses,” she said. “That’s when the first crime was committed against me, and I was essentially raped on camera.” Wood further explained that, at the time, she was taught to remain silent when uncomfortable. “I had been conditioned and trained to never talk back — to just soldier through,” she said in the film.
Wood also claimed she was given absinthe on set, and was unable to consent to anything. She furthermore explained the crew was uncomfortable with the situation, but unsure how to handle it. “Nobody knew what to do,” she said.
While reflecting on her experience during the documentary, she said, “I have never been on a set that unprofessional in my life up until that day. It was complete chaos and I did not feel safe. No one was looking after me.”
Before the video's premiere, Wood claimed she was given “really clear” instructions on how to speak about her experience. “I was supposed to tell people we had this great, romantic, time and none of that was the truth,” she said.
At the time Wood and Manson were nearing the end of a tumultuous three year relationship. When they met the actress was 18 while Manson was 38 years old. Since parting ways, Wood has accused him of grooming as well.
Manson, however, has denied all allegations made against him. He currently faces four lawsuits for battery, harassment, and sexual assault, and is also being investigated by the Los Angeles Sheriffs department for domestic violence. The singer called all the allegations “horrible distortions of reality,” and said, “my intimate relationships have always been entirely consensual.”
Despite his disapproval, Wood is continuing to speak-out against sexual assault. Her film Phoenix Rising, will premiere on HBO in March. In it viewers will see Woods create the Phoenix Act legislation, which extends the statute of limitations for survivors of abuse to press charges against their assailants. Thanks to Woods' leadership, the act was legalized in 2019.