Evan Rachel Wood says she’s ‘steady as a rock’ in face of Marilyn Manson’s lawsuit

A woman in a jacket and turtleneck poses upon arrival at a movie premiere
Marilyn Manson “made me forget who I was, and it’s taken me years to remember,” actor Evan Rachel Wood said on “The View.”
(Arthur Mola / Invision/Associated Press)

In the face of a defamation lawsuit from ex-fiancé Marilyn Manson, Evan Rachel Wood says she’s “steady as a rock” and definitely “not scared.”

Wood, who publicly accused Manson — legal name Brian Warner — of abuse in February 2021 and was sued by Warner in return earlier this month for alleged defamation, fraud and conspiracy, appeared Monday on “The View” to talk about her documentary “Phoenix Rising.” The two-part project airs Tuesday and Wednesday on HBO.

“I can’t, obviously, speak about any of the specific allegations of the lawsuit. But I am not scared,” the “Westworld” actor told co-host Sunny Hostin after being asked about Warner’s defamation action. “I am sad ’cause this is how it works. This is what pretty much every survivor that tries to expose someone in a position of power goes through.”


Wood said the lawsuit against her “was expected” and that this was “the part of the retaliation that keeps survivors quiet.”

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Also speaking to “Good Morning America” on Monday, Wood said it was a promise of retaliation that kept her from naming Warner when she testified to Congress in 2018 about abuse at the hands of an unnamed former partner. “I was too scared,” she said.

She finally put a name to the allegations in February 2021, as did actor Esmé Bianco, who made similar claims about the goth rocker and then sued him last April.

Then former personal assistant Ashley Walters sued Warner last May, alleging among other things sexual harassment, sexual assault and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

Through his attorney, Warner has repeatedly denied all allegations against him — a sentiment that was echoed again in a statement given to “GMA.” Earlier this month he tweeted out a link to his defamation suit against Wood and wrote, “There will come a time when I can share more about the events of the past year. Until then, I’m going to let the facts speak for themselves.”

On “The View,” Wood repeated her story that Warner allegedly started grooming her when she was 18 and he was 37, setting the stage for later physical, sexual and psychological abuse over the course of their four-year relationship. She said it took her from the time they broke up in 2008 until she filed her suit to process what she says happened to her.


“The most insidious thing that he did and that people like him do is that they completely fracture your sense of self. He made me forget who I was, and it’s taken me years to remember, and it’s taken me years to get back to myself and even understand what had happened to me, because I really thought I was the only one,” Wood said on “The View.”

“And I didn’t find out until much later that not only was I not the only one but there was a pattern to his abuse and that means it’s calculated, and that means he is not going to stop until he is stopped,” she added. “This isn’t just somebody shooting blindly in the dark. This is planned.”

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On “GMA,” she clarified that it wasn’t a sexual matter between her and Warner.

“Brian and I did not have a BDSM relationship. We did not have kinky sex. This is not a sexual preference,” she said.

Wood said on “The View” that it was great that people are now talking about things like grooming and gaslighting more than they were a few years ago, but added that there’s a lot of work to be done.

The actor listed the many ways in which she’s privileged — resources and a platform chief among them — and then warned: “I have these things in my corner and I’m still struggling, and that should alarm everyone.”