‘These claims are horrible distortions of reality’: Marilyn Manson, 52, breaks his silence on abuse allegations and insists all his relationships were ‘entirely consensual’ after five women including Evan Rachel Wood came forward
- Model Ashley Lindsay Morgan says she met Manson online through a friend in 2009 when working in Bangkok
- He flew her to L.A. but she claims he asked her to buy him Nazi memorabilia from Asia before she flew over
- She describes in her Instagram statement how it felt ‘so wrong’ because she is Jewish
- Photographer Ashley Walters says she was introduced to Manson through a friend and she was a fan
- She says she started working for him as a personal assistant and that they grew as close as ‘family’
- She claims he became violent, once threw glass plates at her and ‘offered’ her up for ‘sexual relationships with collaborators’
- L.A.-based model Sarah McNeilly says Manson ‘lured’ her in by ‘love bombing’ her then became violent
- Among her claims is that he threw her against a wall, threatened to bash her face in with a baseball bat, locked her in a room when she was ‘bad’ and verbally berated her for ‘hours’
- An artist who gave her name only as Gabriella says he forced her to take drugs with him
- Their comments echoed those of Evan Rachel Wood, who was engaged to Manson in 2010 and alleges ‘years’ of ‘horrific’ abuse
- Manson – who is now 52 and married to L.A. artist Lindsay Usich – has not responded to their claims but his reps, in the past, ‘categorically denied’ he had been violent to women
Marilyn Manson has branded the sexual abuse allegations against him ‘horrible distortions of reality’ as he broke his silence on Instagram on Tuesday.
The rocker, 52, has spoken out after at least five women – former fiancée, Westworld star, Evan Rachel Wood, 33, an artist known only as Gabriella, Ashley Walters, Sarah McNeilly, and Ashley Lindsay Morgan – claimed they had been victims of sexual misconduct, manipulation, and physical and emotional abuse at his hands.
Manson insisted all his relationships have been ‘entirely consensual’ and accused the women of trying to ‘misrepresent the past’ after he was dropped by his record label.
‘These claims are horrible distortions of reality’: Marilyn Manson, 52, broke his silence on abuse allegations on Instagram on Tuesday and insisted all his relationships have been ‘entirely consensual’ after five women including Evan Rachel Wood came forward (pictured in Feb 2020)
‘My art and life have long been magnets for controversy’: Manson, real name Brian Warner, released this statement in the wake of ‘horrific abuse claims’ against him by the five women
He said in a statement posted on Instagram: ‘Obviously, my life and my art have long been magnets for controversy, but these recent claims about me are horrible distortions of reality.
‘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.’
Comments were turned off the post but it was liked by the Rock is Dead hitmaker’s wife, Lindsay Usich.
Allegations: Evan Rachel Wood (shown with Manson in 2007) named him as her abuser on Monday in an Instagram post. The pair dated and became engaged in 2010 but split later that year
In a statement, Evan accused Manson – whose real name is Brian Warner – of ‘grooming’ her when she was a teenager, and alleged he ‘horrifically abused’ her throughout their relationship. And four other women have made statements.
In the wake of the allegations, Manson has been dropped by his record label, Loma Vista Recordings, and fired from his role in American Gods.
Network Starz said of the latter: ‘Due to the allegations made against Marilyn Manson, we have decided to remove his performance from the remaining episode he is in, scheduled to air later this season. Starz stands unequivocally with all victims and survivors of abuse.’
‘He horrifically abused me for years’: Evan Rachel Wood, 33, has alleged ex-fiancé Marilyn ‘groomed and brainwashed her as a teenager’ (pictured in June 2007, the year they went public, when she was 20 and he was 38)
And in addition, AMC’s Shudder have pulled his upcoming episode of horror anthology series Creepshow.
Marilyn Manson has been dropped by his record label after four women accused him of leaving them with PTSD and his former fiance Evan Rachel Wood named him as her abuser.
Three say they had romantic relationships with him that started with him ‘love bombing them’ but then turned abusive.
‘As a survivor myself, I was horrified to hear of these domestic violence allegations. We need to stand with the victims. We know they are almost always isolated from loved ones, making it that much more difficult to escape or seek justice.
Ashley Lindsay Morgan says Manson asked her to buy him Nazi memorabilia in Asia and bring it to him in the US even though she is Jewish
‘Victims are usually not believed or are threatened to keep quiet, so when they do come forward, we need to support them.
‘These allegations of physical, emotional and financial abuse against Marilyn Manson, also known as Brian Hugh Warner, must be taken seriously and thoroughly investigated.
‘If law enforcement does not do that, we will not only fail these victims but future possible victims of the alleged perpetrator. We must not let that happen,’ she said.
Ashley Walters said she met Manson after he contacted her on social media asking to collaborate.
She is a photographer in Los Angeles and says she admired his work.
It’s not clear from her post when the pair met or if their relationship was ever sexual.
She says she started working for him as a personal assistant after six months, that the pair became close – ‘like family – but then their relationship changed.
She said he ‘frequently’ became violent, once threw glass plates at her and ‘offered’ her up for ‘sexual relationships with collaborators’.
‘I continue to suffer from PTSD, and struggle with depression.
‘I stayed in touch with quite a few people who went through their own traumas, under his control. As we all struggled, as survivors do, to get on with our lives, I’d keep hearing stories disturbingly similar to our own experiences.
Ashley Walters claims she was hired as Manson’s assistant but that he psychologically abused her. She does not specify if they had a sexual relationship
‘It became clear the abuse he’s caused; he continues to inflict on so many and I cannot stand by and let this happen to others.
‘Brian Warner needs to be held accountable,’ she said.
Los Angeles-based model Sarah McNeilly also used the phrase ‘love bombing’. She says Warner ‘lured’ her in by acting loving but then turned violent.
Among her claims is that he threw her against a wall, threatened to bash her face in with a baseball bat, locked her in a room when she was ‘bad’ and verbally berated her for ‘hours’.
She did not gave dates for when they knew each other.
‘I have been afraid to bring any spotlight upon myself as to avoid winding up in his cross hairs again.
‘As a result of the way he treated me, I suffer from mental health issues and PTSD that have affected my personal and professional relationships, self-worth and personal goals.
‘I believe he gets off on ruining people’s lives. I stand in support of all that have and all will come forward. I want to see Brian held accountable for his evil.
L.A. based model Sarah McNeilly says Manson ‘love bombed’ her at the start of their relationship then became increasingly violent. She says he threw her against a wall and threatened to smash her face in with a baseball bat
Morgan said she met Manson when she was working as a model in Thailand in 2009.
She claims they had a mutual friend and that after talking and texting for months, he flew her to Los Angeles.
She did not detail how long they spent together but alleged abuse and said he also asked her to bring him Nazi memorabilia from Asia, even though she is Jewish.
She says she also ‘wasn’t allowed to eat or sleep or leave’ his home.
‘I have night terrors, PTSD, anxiety, and mostly crippling OCD. I try to wash constantly to get him out or off of me. I am coming forward so he will finally stop,’ she said in part.
The fourth woman is an artist called Gabriella. She said she met him in 2015 when she was 22 and he was 46 backstage at one of his shows.
She says he ‘love bombed’ her immediately.
‘Things went from 0 to 100 at full speed… he worked a kind of magic on me,’ she said.
An artist who gave her name only as Gabriella also accused Manson of abuse
Among her claims is that he forced her to take drugs with him and that they made a blood pact.
‘I had fallen deeply for an illusion of safety and love. Every aspect of my life was affected I suffered financially, emotionally, physically, and spiritually.
‘It has taken me five years to speak out. I have been diagnosed with PTSD and still suffer from nightmares. I blocked out a lot of the memories, but the feelings remain and manifest in various ways. The reason I’m finally sharing this traumatic
‘Experience is for my healing and because I’m done being silent. I don’t believe it’s fair for someone to not be held accountable for their horrific actions.
‘I’m not a victim. I’m a survivor,’ she wrote.
In her statement, Wood said: ‘The name of my abuser is Brian Warner, also known to the world as Marilyn Manson. He started grooming me when I was a teenager and horrifically abused me for years.
‘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.
Manson is now married to artist Lindsay Usich. They got married in lockdown in February 2020
‘I stand with the many victims who will no longer be silent.’
She also posted screenshots of tweets written by Dan Cleary – Manson’s former assistant in December 2020. He said in them that he knew Wood when she was with Manson and that by the end of their relationship, he had ‘broken’ her.
Wood reconciled with her English actor Jamie Bell after her romance with Manson ended in 2010. She and Bell had one son together before splitting in 2013. She then revealed she was bisexual and dating a non-binary partner in 2019, but she did not reveal who they were.
In the past, Manson has denied violence through an attorney. But in a 2009 interview with Spin, he made disturbing remarks about wanting to ‘smash’ Wood’s skull in.
He was being asked about his new album and was asked: ‘It sounds like the period after you and Evan Rachel Wood broke up was really tough. What was your lowest point?’
He replied: ‘My lowest point was Christmas Day 2008, because I didn’t speak to my family. My walls were covered in scrawlings of the lyrics and cocaine bags nailed to the wall.
‘And I did have an experience where I was struggling to deal with being alone and being forsaken and being betrayed by putting your trust in one person, and making the mistake of that being the wrong person. And that’s a mistake that everyone can relate to. I made the mistake of trying to, desperately, grasp on and save that and own it. And every time I called her that day — I called 158 times — I took a razor blade and I cut myself on my face or on my hands.
‘I didn’t want people to ask me every time I did an interview, “Oh, is this record about your relationship with your ex-girlfriend?” But that damage is part of it, and the song “I Want to Kill You Like They Do in The Movies” is about my fantasies.
‘I have fantasies every day about smashing her skull in with a sledgehammer.’ The interviewer replied: ‘Wow’. He replied: ‘Merry Christmas’.
Manson and Wood got engaged after the interview and did not break up for another year after it took place.
In November 2020, the comments resurfaced. Then, his reps played them down as him being a ‘theatrical rockstar’.
In 2007, Evan starred in Manson’s music video for his single, Heart-Shaped Glasses (When The Heart Guides The Hand). She was 20 at the time
‘The comments where Manson had a fantasy of using a sledgehammer on Evan and he cut himself 158 times was obviously a theatrical rockstar 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.’
In their statements, they detailed ‘harrowing experiences that they claim included sexual assault, psychological abuse, and/or various forms of coercion, violence, and intimidation’.
Manson’s reps have ‘categorically denied’ similar accusations in the past but they have not yet addressed the statements the women made on Monday.
In 2018, Wood described being abused in front of a House Judiciary Committee as part of a campaign to pass a bill of rights protecting abuse victims.
She did not name her abuser at the time and said she had been told she could not take it to police because the statute of limitations had expired.
‘My experience with domestic violence was this: Toxic mental, physical and sexual abuse which started slow but escalated over time, including threats against my life, severe gas-lighting and brainwashing, waking up to the man that claimed to love me raping what he believed to be my unconscious body,’ she said.
Former wife: Manson was married to burlesque performer Dita Von Teese from 2005-2007, (pictured together in May 2006)
EVAN RACHEL WOOD’S 2018 TESTIMONY ABOUT BEING RAPED AND TORTURED BY UNNAMED ABUSER WHEN SHE WAS A TEEN
My name is Evan Rachel Wood and I am an artist. But I am also a domestic violence and sexual assault survivor and the single mother of a young boy.
When I was 5 years old I started working in film and every day since then I have worked to reach the very privileged place I am aware I occupy. I am aware that I appear to be what a large part of society would deem as “beautiful” and that I have a skin color that drastically increases my chance for success. But this is also what makes my story all the more disturbing, because I would be considered “one of the lucky ones.”
I struggle to write this because I am not sure what words are appropriate when discussing this issue. As I type this I am worried about being very careful not to become too graphic and cross a line into what most people would consider inappropriate, simply for telling my story exactly how it happened from my experience, without sugar coating. I am also fearful of saying anything that may unintentionally spark arousal in people and in writing this, suddenly realize that is a part of the problem. If you can’t hear the whole truth you will never know true empathy and I believe in the saying, “If we have to live through it, you should have to hear it.”
We as women must always alter how we say things, to be heard, because we are mostly seen in a just a few ways: pure, or un-pure, property, weak, and, the most hurtful one of all, crazy; too irrational to be able to give a coherent objective thought about how we perceive the world. Our perspective isn’t taken seriously because of hard wiring and conditioning brought onto us by a society that tells us what is acceptable or “normal.”
This past year and the massive movements such as Me Too and Time’s Up have been extremely empowering and validating for survivors, but also incredibly painful. While no one had to tell me that rape was such a worldwide epidemic, to see the flood of stories so similar to my own was both freeing and soul-crushing. Waves of memories and detail came flooding into my brain every time I read the words, “I froze.”
I thought I was the only human who experienced this. I carried so much guilt and confusion about my response to the abuse. It made me realize I had believed the messages society as a whole sends women on a daily basis. It’s almost as if my mind has been conditioned to believe it must have been my fault, I must have done something wrong, not him, he obviously couldn’t help it. I accepted my powerlessness and felt I deserved it somehow. Why? After years of processing and looking back I see these experiences so clearly for what they are. So finally I asked myself, Why would you feel this way?
A quote I wrote down in my journal years ago from Ph.D. Ian Robertson and his book, The Winner Effect, comes to mind: “Men are not systematically deprived of human rights of education, relationships and work by political and religious systems because of their gender in many countries, but women are. The resulting powerlessness of hundreds of millions of women fundamentally shapes their brains, reducing their capacity to change their situation.”
Sometimes we are held down, not just by our attackers, but of what we know about our place in the world. She may freeze because she is terrified but also because she knows, deep down, there is nowhere for her to go. An estimated 400,000 untested rape kits are sitting on shelves in the United States alone. Rape kits that not only help convict the guilty but exonerate the innocent. If that doesn’t tell us how people feel about violence against women, I don’t know what does.
After doing more research on this “freeze” response, I found the following information on something called “Tonic Immobility.” This is a trauma response that animals will exhibit during an attack, they will freeze or “play dead,” perceiving it as the best option when the animal sees little immediate chance of escape or winning a fight. The animal initially reacts by struggling and attempting to escape, but after a brief period of continued restraint these reactions subside and it assumes a catatonic-like posture which persists in the absence of further contact.
A special issue of The Psychological Record, from 1977, was devoted to this topic and I have submitted it here today along with my full testimony.
There are two specific instances of sexual assault I have experienced that really stick out in my mind. In fact, they are burned into my brain. Branded there for life, a mental scar that I feel, every day.
My experience with domestic violence was this. 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, and the worst part, 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. I was too afraid to run, he would find me. I was too afraid to fight back, he had threatened to kill me before.
I was too afraid to have him turn on me, I knew what would happen if he got angry.
Once I realized what he was going to do, I froze, and it was as if I could see myself from the outside and for the first time in months I felt something, utter shame and despair. I had no idea what to do to change my situation. So I went numb, soon I couldn’t feel anything. I wasn’t alive.
My self-esteem and spirit were broken.
I was deeply terrified and that fear lives with me to this day.
What makes me more hurt and more angry than the actual rape and abuse itself, was that piece of me that was stolen, which altered the course of my life.
Because of this abuse and my already spiritless person, when I was pushed onto the floor of a locked storage closet by another attacker after hours at a bar, my body instinctually knew what to do—disappear, go numb, make it go away. Being abused and raped previously made it easier for me to raped again, not the other way around.
Not a day goes by when I don’t hear the words this man whispered into my ear over and over, “You’re going to be fine, you’re going to be fine, I promise, you’re going to be fine,” and my small voice saying back, “No, no, no, no, no,” until it faded into nothing. I remember the feeling of shutting down or “freezing” and utter shock taking over. I couldn’t even make a sound. I felt a piece of me disappear, a piece that has never returned. In other words, I was not fine. I am not fine.
As of right now, the definition of “consent” does not cover this very common response to trauma, or fear. As of right now, a woman can say no 50 times, but when she reluctantly gives in because she feels she has no other choice, or “freezes,” that is considered “consent.” Not an animalistic instinct which kicks in, not an automatic response or what our bodies and fragile minds do to try and protect us, but consent that is protected by law. As of right now, even if I went after one of my attackers, it wouldn’t matter, because under law what happened to me was considered “given,” with my full consent. I think a vast majority of woman can relate to the feeling of walking into a situation, realizing what it is, and thinking, Oh no… here we go, it’s me today.
The things my attacker whispered stand out to me as someone experiencing a starkly different reality than mine. His words were a “You’ll thank me later” statement, and if I am distressed, I should trust him. Imagine for a moment what his testimony would be, of the same “sexual encounter.” He would get empathy and I would get questions. We still victim-blame because we don’t realize there are two victims of rape. The women who are being raped and the young boys who are growing up to be rapists. Their entire lives led them to this point. So what is happening? Why are men and women so conditioned in this way?
I was told the signs. My mother is also a survivor, but even she couldn’t protect her daughter from the messages women and men are fed by society that plays a role in determining our fate, or the dark magic of gaslighting.
The aftermath of rape is a huge part of the conversation that needs much more attention, and in this case I can speak from my own experiences. So often we speak of these assaults as no more than a few minutes of awfulness, but the scars last a lifetime. I cannot stress this enough.
Even though these experiences happened a decade ago, I still struggle with the aftermath; my relationships suffer, my partners suffer, my mental and physical health suffers. 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, which is also how we commonly refer to a woman’s distress: lunacy.
Post-traumatic stress syndrome is more widely known in relation to vets returning home from war, but by definition it is “a mental health condition that’s triggered by a terrifying event—either experiencing it or witnessing it, or other threats on a person’s life.”
I struggled with depression, addiction, agoraphobia, night terrors; so many times, a sleeping partner of mine has awoken to their love screaming in the night and gasping for air in a pool of sweat, after having some sort of vivid dream of my abuser or hearing them say my name so loudly in my ear, or hallucinating a vision of them standing in the corner of my room. The feeling of paralysis returns when there is a loud noise and I am home alone, convinced someone is coming to hurt me. I stay awake all night clutching a baseball bat, which began to replace my distraught and absent partners, as trust and touch became increasingly more difficult. I struggled with self-harm, to the point of two suicide attempts, which landed me in a psychiatric hospital for a short period of time. This was, however, a turning point in my life, and when I started seeking professional help to deal with my trauma and mental stress. This was the beginning of a very long road to recovery. I am incredibly fortunate because I have the means to pay for such treatment and care which I still utilize to this day. Others are not so fortunate, and, because of this, rape is often more than a few minutes of trauma, but a slow death.
I was forever changed by these experiences, not just because of the violation, the loss of ownership over my body, the actual physical pain, but what it meant about the world I called home. I don’t often think of how I wish my rapists would be punished, although true justice would be a miracle, but I think of the children they once were. I wonder what must have happened to them, what they were taught, what trauma they endured that led them to these inhumane acts.
I view the world differently after knowing what darkness lurks underneath the surface of sometimes even your most trusted partner, and what human beings are capable of without unconditional love or lessons in empathy.
I would like to say to my attackers, that I don’t hate you, I feel sorry for you. I am not here to shame you, I want to understand you and want you to understand me, but you have to listen first. We all have to listen and we have to be brave enough to have the conversation and ask the “why”s. The whys are what connect us.
This makes me think of my son, the world he will be raised in, and the day I will have to explain to him what rape means and why it happened to his mother.
When I knew I was to become a mother, I prayed for a boy. Not because I wouldn’t have wanted a girl, but because I would have to protect my daughter too much, and many things would unfortunately be inevitable in her future. Then I realized, it could be just as easy for my son to fall prey to the lies society tells us about men. Things like, “They have uncontrollable impulses to hurt people.” Because, let’s face it, a man having an uncontrollable impulse to engage in a sexual act is not what sexual assault is. Sexual assault is an uncontrollable act of violence, against someone else’s body, mind, and spirit. How cruel to tell a child this is just how all men are, and how cruel to turn a blind eye to all the ways we perpetuate this lie. Since men are often told to hide their emotions, this very behavior could be a cry for help. While women seem more prone to cry out by punishing themselves, the opposite seems to be true with a majority of men. And this deserves a much deeper look.
So I am also here to advocate for men, and especially my son, who I hope grows up knowing he is much more valuable than that, and who I can only hope I will set an example for by continuing to fight for him, myself, and all the people affected by abuse, because that is our job as parents and as leaders. The way we change starts with proper education, not just about the medical terms of sexual intercourse and how it works, but about true connection with another person. How can we begin to talk about rape when we barely even teach people what good, healthy, safe, and loving sex really is?
But above all, it starts with the rule of law. It starts with people leading by example and coming to the aide of our girls, but also our young boys, who are just as susceptible to the toxic messages we send THEM to break their spirit and change their fate. This bill is just one step in the right direction of setting the bar higher for what is right and what the standard will be that we set for society. It’s the safety net that may help save someone’s life one day. It’s called progress and it starts here
She also said she had only agreed to come forward because she learned that the her abuser had hurt other women too.
The Hollywood Reporter wrote that in May of 2018, a police report was filed against Manson citing unspecified sex crimes that allegedly took place in 2011.
But in August of 2018, the Los Angeles District’s Attorney office announced that it was declining to pursue that case because of a lack of corroborating evidence.
It is unclear who the victim in that case was.
Manson’s attorney at the time, Howard E. King, told The Hollywood Reporter that the ‘allegations made to the police were and are categorically denied by Mr. Warner and are either completely delusional or part of a calculated attempt to generate publicity.
‘Any claim of sexual impropriety or imprisonment at that, or any other, time is false.’
Manson is currently married to artist Lindsay Usich. She has not commented on the claims against him.
They got married in February last year during lockdown in a small ceremony that Nicholas Cage said he watched over FaceTime.
Before Wood, he was married to burlesque performer Dita Von Teese from 2005-2007 and they dated for six years prior.
Von Teese has never alleged abuse by him. He claimed after they split that she couldn’t accept his rockstar lifestyle.
‘But buyer beware. She said she had tolerated the lifestyle because she hoped I would change and threatened to leave if I didn’t. I was sleeping on the couch in my own home. I was no longer supposed to be a rockstar. I was someone who had to be apologized for. I wasn’t prepared to be alone. I came out of this naked, a featherless bird,’ he said.
She told The Sunday Telegraph: ‘Everything went downhill after we got married.
‘I started working a lot to escape my home life.’
Before Dita, he’d been engaged to Rose McGowan. She ended their engagement in 2001, blaming ‘lifestyle differences.’
In a statement, the actress famously said: ‘There is great love, but our lifestyle difference is, unfortunately, even greater.’
She has not accused him of abuse. McGowan was famously among the first women to speak out against Harvey Weinstein.
In 2018, when revealing she had been abused but without naming Manson, she said she was told by her lawyers that she could not bring any action against the person who had hurt her because the statute of limitations had passed.
It extends the statute of limitations in California on domestic violence felonies from three to five years.
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