Evan Rachel Wood appeared on US talk show The View yesterday to discuss her past relationship with Marilyn Manson, and the allegations of sexual and physical abuse she has made against the singer in her new documentary Phoenix Rising.
During the interview, the actress stated that she is "not scared" by the recent defamation lawsuit filed against her by her former partner, and told the show's hosts: “I’m not doing this to my 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."
At the outset of the interview, Wood says that Manson, who she first met when she was 19 and the singer was 37, was "grooming me [from] the second he said 'Hello'."
In her forthcoming documentary, directed by award-winning US film-maker Amy Berg, the actress alleges that she was raped by her former fiancé during the filming of Manson's video for 2007's Heart-Shaped Glasses (When The Heart Guides The Hand). In her interview on The View, she alleges that this was just one example of the "horrific" abuse she suffered at Manson's hands, and says that she was so distraught that she attempted to take her own life.
"When someone aids in the destruction of your self, and you forget who you are, you feel pretty broken and pretty empty," she says. "And honestly the suicide attempt is another form of escape. When you don't feel like there's no way out of this hole, that there's no way to leave, there's nowhere to go... that is one way of leaving. And it did not work... and that was the turning point."
In response to the allegations made in Phoenix Rising, Manson is suing Wood for defamation.
According to court documents filed in Los Angeles, the singer's action “arises from the wrongful and illegal acts done in furtherance of a conspiracy by Defendant Evan Rachel Wood and her on-again, off-again romantic partner, Defendant Ashley Gore, a/k/a Illma Gore, to publicly cast Plaintiff Brian Warner, p/k/a Marilyn Manson, as a rapist and abuser– a malicious falsehood that has derailed Warner’s successful music, TV, and film career.”
When this lawsuit is brought up on The View, Wood says she is "not scared" by the prospect of a court battle.
“I can’t obviously speak about any of the specific allegations of the lawsuit, but I am not scared,” Wood says. “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 through, and this is part of the retaliation that keeps survivors quiet.
“This is why people don’t want to come forward. This was expected. I’m very confident that I have the truth on my side and that the truth will come out, and that this is clearly timed before the documentary. There’s a reason.
“I’m not doing this to my 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. And 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.”
Watch the full interview below:
Premiered at the Sundance film festival on January 23, the first part of Phoenix Rising, subtitled Don't Fall, will air tonight, March 15, in the US on HBO Max at 9pm EST. The second part, Stand Up, will air on March 16.
Manson is currently facing several lawsuits, and is the subject of an active investigation by the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department.