Evan Rachel Wood has been through a lot of turmoil throughout her time in the public eye. The actress and activist has bravely voiced her alleged struggles to the masses in recent years in order to raise awareness about issues around mental health, suicide, sexual assault and domestic violence.
Although the ‘Westworld’ actor is thankfully no longer in an allegedly abusive relationship with Marilyn Manson (legally named Brian Warner), she still has to deal with the consequences of their dating to this day. Not only does she suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, but she also experiences visceral hatred and death threats from the singer and his fans.
It can be overwhelming to consider all the heartbreak and pain the actor would have gone through. But there is light at the end of the tunnel because, according to Wood, she was able to find a sense of strength while speaking out as a survivor. The actor is now able to use his massive platform to help others who might be going through similar situations. Keep reading to learn more about this star who was able to rise like a phoenix from the ashes and make a difference.
Evan Rachel Wood’s Inappropriate Thirteen Experience
While filming “Thirteen,” Evan Rachel Wood was forced into an inappropriate situation. She remembers this moment speaking in her HBO documentary titled “Phoenix Rising” (directed by Amy Berg), which mainly focuses on the alleged abuse she suffered at the hands of Marilyn Manson. “I grew up with this mentality that it was your job to carry on, even when you felt uncomfortable,” the actor said. Recalling her role in “Thirteen,” she continued, “I had to kiss a 23-year-old when I was 14 in front of a room full of people. And I remember not wanting to do it, but I knew the character needed it, and so it didn’t matter what Evan wanted. It just had to be done. And that set the tone for bad situations in adulthood. After that filming experience, Wood was cast in other roles that were too mature for her as a teenager, she explained.
Today, Wood speaks for herself and uses her platform to help other victims. “The reason I really decided to go [public] is because I found out he abused other women,” she told Harper’s Bazaar of her relationship with Manson in 2019 (before naming the alleged abuser). “It changed everything. It helped me feel stronger, because it wasn’t just about me – I’m not just fighting for myself anymore. »
She felt that her “identity was fading”
Evan Rachel Wood was a teenager when she got her start in the entertainment industry. The actor had starred in a handful of projects as a kid, but his fame didn’t hit until he starred alongside Nikki Reed in the 2003 cult classic, “Thirteen.” Getting propelled into Hollywood can be a real challenge for anyone, but that was especially the case for Wood. According to the actor, because she was so vulnerable at that age, she suffered the brunt of the bullying from the top brass in the entertainment industry.
The “Westworld” actress can even pinpoint a specific moment when she felt she had no agency. Wood was part of a photo shoot for Vanity Fair’s famous teen issue in 2003, in which she was not allowed to choose her outfit and was not comfortable with the clothes she was told to wear. “I was almost in tears after that shoot,” she revealed in a since-deleted 2014 tweet (via Vulture). She later added: “I was 15 and for the first time felt my identity erased and the pressure to shut up and do what you are told. I felt like meat. Since then, I have found my voice. She also encouraged young women to be themselves, “No matter what.”
The alleged abuse she suffered from Marilyn Manson
Evan Rachel Wood says she was groomed by goth-rock musician Marilyn Manson when she was just 18 – followed by Manson who love bombarded her and isolated her from her family. Manson was 37 years old. Wood told British Elle (via People) in 2007 that they met at a party in Los Angeles at Chateau Marmont. In his documentary “Phoenix Rising,” Wood recalls, “I didn’t know what the prey was. I didn’t know what the toilet was. »
The ‘Westworld’ actor says the torture started when she was in Manson’s music video for ‘Heart-Shaped Glasses.’ The song is inspired by Vladimir Nabokov’s 1954 novel “Lolita,” about a pedophile’s relationship with a 12-year-old girl. Romanticizing Nabokov’s novel is a disturbing facet of a horrifying situation. Wood alleges in his documentary “Phoenix Rising” (via People), “I was coerced into a commercial sex act under false pretenses. That’s when the first crime was committed against me, and I was basically raped on camera. She said Manson made her speak positively about the video in the press, and that his abuse continued for years after the attack.
Although it’s been more than a decade since their relationship ended, Wood is still understandably struggling to cope. “I’m not okay because no matter how much work I do, I’m still looking for some kind of peace and looking to feel safe,” she shared in her #IAmNotOK social media campaign. (via NME), “and I’m still trying to put all of this behind me, but I don’t know if I’ll ever be fully capable of doing so. »
She struggled with self-harm
Evan Rachel Wood has clearly suffered from the pain she claims Marilyn Manson has caused her to this day. In 2019, the actor discussed old physical scars, explaining on Twitter that she had harmed herself while in an abusive relationship ‘as a way to disarm’ her attacker during a threat or attack. an attack (via Page Six). “At that time I was desperate to stop the abuse and was too terrified to leave,” she wrote.
Wood testified before a House Judiciary subcommittee in support of sexual assault survivors’ bill of rights legislation in 2018 (via HuffPost). In his testimony, Wood described his horrific memories of Manson’s alleged domestic abuse: “Toxic mental, physical and sexual abuse, which started slowly but escalated over time, including threats to my life, severe gaslighting and brainwashing,” she listed. She also mentioned the corresponding effects of her PTSD and referenced self-harm and two suicide attempts.
“I was deeply terrified and that fear still lives with me today,” Wood added. “What hurts me more and angrier than the rape and abuse itself is that part of me that was stolen, that changed the course of my life. »
Evan Rachel Wood attempted suicide
Tragically, Evan Rachel Wood says she attempted suicide at age 22. The star admits she was so beaten and depressed over the alleged abuse she had suffered at the hands of Marilyn Manson that she felt like ending her life was the only way out. After the attempt, a switch tripped inside Wood and she realized that if she wanted to have this experience, she needed to seek emergency care from a mental health provider. With the help of her mother, the actress checked herself into a mental hospital to find safety.
She wrote a heartbreaking essay for Nylon about her recovery. “Looking back, it was the worst, best thing that ever happened to me,” she said of her time in the psychiatric ward. “It was in the morning, I felt like I had been hit by a truck. Then with almost hysterical acceptance, without thinking, I picked up the phone. It was one of those times when you have a choice that goes beyond the initial choice you make when calling for help: you can’t die, or you can come back to life. »
Her abortion was traumatic for her
Evan Rachel Wood says Marilyn Manson would not use protection during sex and controlled her forms of birth control. Wood became pregnant and had an abortion, but Manson refused to react to the situation with any form of sensitivity or attention. She reveals in the HBO documentary “Phoenix Rising” that Manson had Wood cook for him right after the abortion she considered traumatic.
“I obviously believe in a woman’s right to choose, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t devastating,” she revealed in the documentary (via Insider). “The second it was over [he] was like, ‘Make me dinner.’ And I remember saying, ‘I’m supposed to rest – my body has suffered this trauma, there are scars here. And he didn’t care. »
The actor now has a son she shares with her ex-partner, Jamie Bell. In fact, according to Wood, her child is the reason she opened up about her alleged domestic violence experience. She spoke on “The Drew Barrymore Show,” saying, “If I run away now, what do I tell my child? You know, be that person. If you have the platform and the privilege to help others, my dear Lord, use it. »
The shame she endured from the public
Evan Rachel Wood has always spoken about her advocacy for women’s rights, and she uses her famous platform to raise awareness on the subject. The ‘Westworld’ actor opened up about the shame she suffered from devoted Manson fans, who would call Wood a slew of derogatory names just because she was in a relationship with him. Of course, this all happened when she was a teenager, which made the situation all the more difficult to deal with. Speaking about the misogyny she suffered from cyberbullying, she told British Elle in 2007 (via People), “I’ve seen blogs where I’ve been called a slut, a whore, that say I should be sentenced to death just because I fell in love. »
In a 2019 interview with Harper’s Bazaar, the talented actress said the endless insults she received from the public and media at the time made it nearly impossible for her to open up to the world about her alleged abusive relationship. “In the press, it was so traumatic,” she told the magazine. “They called me an asshole, they called me crazy and they called me names before I even said anything. I felt like my credibility had already been destroyed, so it was very difficult to come out during that time,” the “Practical Magic” actor said. “My biggest fear was when I finally said something, that it was all going to happen again. I was really scared. »
She alleges that Manson threatened to harm her family
When Evan Rachel Wood finally found the strength to share her story of the alleged torment she suffered at the hands of Marilyn Manson while testifying against him, she claimed that Manson made threats and targeted her son. Wood shares a child with her former husband, Jamie Bell. According to the Daily Mail, her child was only eight years old when the musician threatened to sexually assault her. She alleged in her documentary ‘Phoenix Rising’ that he used to threaten Wood, telling him he would hurt everyone in his family, starting with his father.
Wood said in a court statement regarding his son’s custody: “I suffered severe traumatic physical and emotional injuries at his hands, and I fear he is seeking revenge on me for testifying in hurting me, our son and my family members. . She added, “In my experience, the alleged abuser is very retortive and always made it clear that he was going to ruin my life. »
Marilyn Manson sued Evan Rachel Wood
In his documentary ‘Phoenix Rising’, directed by Amy Berg, Evan Rachel Wood takes time to reflect and analyze the life, past and allegedly anti-Semitic behaviors of Marilyn Manson, while detailing the alleged violence he has done to her. inflicted. Manson sued Wood for defamation in March 2022, before the HBO documentary was widely released. His filed lawsuit characterizes Wood and Illma Gore’s work as “a conspiracy” and “a malicious lie that derailed Warner’s successful career in music, television, and film” (via Deadline).
Wood responded on “The View” a few weeks later, saying, “I obviously can’t speak to any of the specific allegations in the lawsuit, but I’m not afraid. I’m sad, because that’s how it works. that’s what pretty much every Survivor experiences who try to expose someone in a position of power, and it’s part of the retaliation that keeps Survivors silent. … I’m very confident that I have the truth on my side and the truth will come out. »
The actor has already worked hard to give voice to other survivors. In 2019, she advocated for the Phoenix Act, drafted and supported by Senator Susan Rubio, before the California Senate Public Safety Committee. The law was intended to give victims an extended time to report abuse and it extended the statute of limitations from three to five years.