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Evan Rachel Wood says she’s “not scared” of Marilyn Manson lawsuit

New HBO documentary 'Phoenix Rising', which sees Wood detail specific allegations against Manson, airs from tonight (March 15)

By Will Richards

Evan Rachel Wood
Evan Rachel Wood (Picture: AP)

Evan Rachel Wood has publicly spoken about ex-partner Marilyn Manson’s lawsuit against her for the first time, saying she’s “not scared”.

Manson filed a defamation lawsuit against Wood earlier this month, after the actress accused him of sexual abuse.

Per Deadline, the veteran shock rocker – real name Brian Warner – filed the suit in Los Angeles superior court on Wednesday, March 2, against Wood and her associate Ashley ‘Ilma’ Gore. It accuses the pair of “conspiracy” to cast him as “a rapist and abuser – a malicious falsehood that has derailed Warner’s successful music, TV, and film career.”

Tonight (March 15), the first part of ‘Phoenix Rising’, a documentary about Wood in which she details specific allegations against Manson pertaining to his conduct on the set of his 2007 video for ‘Heart-Shaped Glasses’, in which Wood appeared, will air.

Ahead of the premiere, Wood appeared on US TV show ‘The View’ yesterday (March 14) to speak publicly about the lawsuit.

“I can’t obviously speak about any of the specific allegations of the lawsuit, but I’m not scared,” she said. “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 though, and this is part of the retaliation that keeps survivors quiet. This is why people don’t want to come forward. This was expected.”

Wood added: “I am very confident that I have the truth on my side and that the truth will come out. This is clearly timed before the documentary. I’m not doing this 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.”

Manson’s suit contains a litany of allegations against Wood and Gore in support of his claim that they conspired against him, including that they recruited women to falsely accuse him of sexual assault, that they hacked into his computers and social media accounts, that they created a fake email address to frame him for transmitting illicit pornography, and that they impersonated an FBI agent to “create the false appearance” that his accusers, and their families, were in danger.

Wood is the most high-profile of a number of women who have accused Manson of abuse since the beginning of 2021. In ‘Phoenix Rising’, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January, Wood claimed that Manson plied her with absinthe on the video shoot and “essentially raped [her] on camera.”

In the film, directed by Amy Berg, Wood recounts her alleged experience with Manson: “It’s nothing like I thought it was going to be. We’re doing things that were not what was pitched to me. We had discussed a simulated sex scene, but once the cameras were rolling, he started penetrating me for real. I had never agreed to that.”

“It was complete chaos,” she continues. “I did not feel safe. No one was looking after me. It was a really traumatising experience filming the video. I felt disgusting and that I had done something shameful and I could tell that the crew was uncomfortable and nobody knew what to do.

‘Phoenix Rising’ will air in two parts – ‘Don’t Fall’ and ‘Stand Up’ – across tonight and tomorrow on HBO in the U.S., at 9pm Eastern Time. A UK air date is yet to be confirmed.