Marilyn Manson is speaking out against abuse allegations after his ex-fiancée Evan Rachel Wood claimed the musician “horrifically abused me for years.”
“Obviously, my art and my life have long been magnets for controversy, but these recent claims about me are horrible distortions of reality,” Manson, whose real name is Brian Warner, wrote on Instagram Monday night.
Earlier Monday, Wood revealed in an Instagram post that Manson, 52, had “started grooming me when I was a teenager.” The “Westworld” actress has been vocal the past few years about experiencing domestic abuse and sexual assault.
Wood, 33, added: “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. I stand with the many victims who will no longer be silent.”
Wood reposted other women’s allegations of abuse by Manson on her Instagram Stories after posting her statement.
Manson pushed back at her claims further on Monday night. “My intimate relationships have always been entirely consensual with like-minded partners. Regardless of how — and why — others are now choosing to misrepresent the past, that is the truth.”
Manson was swiftly dropped by his record label following Wood’s allegations.
“In light of today’s disturbing allegations by Evan Rachel Wood and other women naming Marilyn Manson as their abuser, Loma Vista will cease to further promote his current album, effective immediately,” Loma Vista Recordings tweeted Monday. “Due to these concerning developments, we have also decided not to work with Marilyn Manson on any future projects.”
USA TODAY has reached out to Manson’s representatives for comment.
In November, Manson hung up on a reporter for U.K. music magazine Metal Hammer who attempted to ask the musician about his relationship with Wood and other women. His publicist later issued a lengthy statement on his behalf, denying abuse and directing the outlet to a 2017 interview in which he said he “didn’t know much about” ex Rose McGowan’s experiences with Harvey Weinstein. Manson also said in the interview that those making accusations in the #MeToo movement should make allegations “to the police, not to the press… first and foremost.”
He and Wood met when she was in her late teens and Manson in his late 30s. They dated on and off in the late 2000s and got engaged in 2010, before she got back together with “Billy Elliot” star Jamie Bell, whom she married in 2012. They divorced in 2014.
Manson, in a 2009 Q&A with Spin magazine, said that his 2009 song “I Want to Kill You Like They Do in The Movies” was inspired by one of their breakups.
“I have fantasies every day about smashing her skull in with a sledgehammer,” he told the outlet of Wood.
His team denied in the statement to Metal Hammer that his words should be deemed a legitimate threat: “The comments in Spin where Manson had a fantasy of using a sledgehammer on Evan… was obviously a theatrical rock star interview promoting a new record, and not a factual account. The fact that Evan and Manson got engaged six months after this interview would indicate that no one took this story literally.”
Nearly three years ago, Wood shared her experiences with domestic violence and sexual abuse without making allegations about any specific person to the House Judiciary Committee as part of an effort to secure a bill of rights for sexual assault survivors nationwide.
She told Congress the Me Too and Time’s Up movements have spurred “waves of memories” of her own assaults, and likened two instances of sexual assault and violence to “a mental scar that I feel every day.”
“My experience with domestic violence was this,” she said, “the toxic mental, physical and sexual abuse which started slow but escalated over time, including threats against my life, severe gaslighting and brainwashing, waking up to the man that claimed to love me, raping what he believed to be my unconscious body.
“The worst part,” she continued, “sick rituals of binding me up by my hands and feet to be mentally and physically tortured until my abuser felt I had proven my love for them. In this moment, while I was tied up and being beaten, and being told unspeakable things, I truly felt like I could die, not just because my abuser said to me, ‘I could kill you right now,’ but because in that moment I felt like I left my body, and I was too afraid to run.”
Wood said as a result of her traumas she has been plagued with depression, addiction, agoraphobia, and night terrors that led her to attempt suicide twice and to seek treatment at a psychiatric hospital.
“Even though these experiences happened a decade ago, I still struggle with the aftermath,” she said. “My relationship suffers, my partners suffer, my mental and physical health suffer. Seven years after my rapes — plural — I was diagnosed with long-term PTSD, which I had been living with all that time without knowledge about my condition. I simply thought I was going crazy.”
Wood received an outpouring of support from fellow celebrities after speaking out against her abuser.
“I am profoundly sad today and disgusted. But I am mostly proud. Proud of Evan Rachel Wood and the others who’ve come forward against Marilyn Manson, my ex,” said McGowan, one of Weinstein’s first public accusers who helped fire up the #MeToo movement in October 2017.
McGowan continued: “When he was with me, he was not like that, but that has no bearing on whether he was like with others before or after. It takes time to come forward. And again, I am proud. Proud of these women and anybody who stands against an abuser.”
Anna Paquin, who co-starred with Wood on HBO’s “True Blood,” said Wood’s “courage is inspiring.” Paquin added, “#istandwithyou.”
Josh Gad and Selma Blair both commented, “Love you.”
If you or someone you know may be struggling with suicidal thoughts, you can call the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) any time day or night, or chat online.
Crisis Text Line also provides free, 24/7, confidential support via text message to people in crisis when they dial 741741.
Contributing: Erin Jensen, Cydney Henderson