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Marilyn Manson denies raping Evan Rachel Wood on Heart-Shaped Glasses video set

Manson HSG video
(Image credit: Interscope)

Marilyn Manson has denied Evan Rachel Wood’s allegation that he raped her on the set of his Heart-Shaped Glasses video shoot.

In the new HBO documentary Phoenix Rising, the first part of which premiered at the Sundance film festival on January 23, Wood states that she was fed absinthe on the video set to the point that she was barely conscious, and “essentially raped on camera” by her former fiancé (real name: Brian Warner).

“We had discussed a simulated sex scene,” Wood says in the Amy Berg-directed documentary, “but once the cameras were rolling, he started penetrating me for real. I had never agreed to that. I’m a professional actress, I have been doing this my whole life, I’d never been on a set that unprofessional in my life up until this day. It was complete chaos, and I did not feel safe. No one was looking after me.”

Manson’s lawyer Howard King has now denied Wood’s claims in a statement issued to The Guardian.

“Of all the false claims that Evan Rachel Wood has made about Brian Warner,” King says, “her imaginative retelling of the making of the Heart-Shaped Glasses music video 15 years ago is the most brazen and easiest to disprove, because there were multiple witnesses.

“Evan was not only fully coherent and engaged during the three-day shoot but also heavily involved in weeks of pre-production planning and days of post-production editing of the final cut. The simulated sex scene took several hours to shoot with multiple takes using different angles and several long breaks in between camera setups.

“Brian did not have sex with Evan on that set, and she knows that is the truth.”

Since Wood made a public statement accusing Marilyn Manson of repeatedly abusing her during their relationship, more than a dozen women have levelled similar accusations at the singer, with four filing lawsuits against Manson.

Game Of Thrones actress Esmé Bianco, a former girlfriend of the singer, filed her suit in April, alleging that Manson physically, sexually, psychological, and emotionally abused her on multiple occasions, and raped her “in or around May 2011.” 

Another ex-girlfriend, American model/actress Ashley Morgan Smithline, is accusing the singer of sexual assault, sexual battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, human trafficking, and unlawful imprisonment, while Manson’s former assistant Ashley Walters claims that Manson subjected her to “personal and professional sexual exploitation, manipulation and psychological abuse.” Another woman who has chosen to remain anonymous and is referred to in court documents simply as Jane Doe, says she was raped by the singer who later made death threats against her. 

In Phoenix Rising, Evan Rachel Wood says that learning about the testimonies from other survivors,“ was like finding out you dated a serial killer.”

“This isn’t about revenge, or, ‘He’s a monster and he needs to be punished and destroyed‘,” she insists at one point. “He’s already destroyed.”

Phoenix Rising will be screened by HBO later this year.

Paul Brannigan
Paul Brannigan

A music writer since 1993, formerly Editor of Kerrang! and Planet Rock magazine (RIP), Paul Brannigan is a Contributing Editor to Louder and Metal Hammer. Having previously written books on Lemmy, Dave Grohl (the Sunday Times best-seller This Is A Call) and Metallica (Birth School Metallica Death, co-authored with Ian Winwood), his Eddie Van Halen biography (Eruption in the UK, Unchained in the US) emerged in 2021. He has written for Rolling Stone, Mojo and Q, hung out with Fugazi at Dischord House, flown on Ozzy Osbourne's private jet, played Angus Young's Gibson SG, and interviewed everyone from Aerosmith and Beastie Boys to Young Gods and ZZ Top. Brannigan lives in North London and supports The Arsenal.