Actor Evan Rachel Wood has publicly accused Marilyn Manson of raping her on the set of his 2007 music video ‘Heart-Shaped Glasses (When the Heart Guides the Hand)’ in a new documentary about her life.
— Content Warning: This article discusses sexual and physical abuse. —
The documentary ‘Phoenix Rising’ — which premiered at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival — explores her life, her experiences in Hollywood and the public eye, and her traumatic past with Manson (real name Brian Warner).
Throughout the film, Wood details her on-again, off-again relationship with Warner, who she claims “horrifically abused” her between 2006 and 2011, before she made her “final escape.”
In particular, she tells the story of her experience on the set of the ‘Heart-Shaped Glasses’ — in which she wears a pair of ‘Lolita’-esque heart-shaped glasses and is filmed while Warner gropes and has sex with her in blood rain.
While Wood agreed to be in the video, she claims the reality was very different to the original pitch she had consented to.
“It’s nothing like I thought it was going to be,” Wood says in the documentary. “We’re doing things that were not what was pitched to me. We had discussed a simulated sex scene, but once the cameras were rolling, he started penetrating me for real. I had never agreed to that…It was complete chaos. I did not feel safe. No one was looking after me. It was a really traumatising experience filming the video. I didn’t know how to advocate for myself or know how to say no because I had been conditioned and trained to never talk back — to just soldier through. I felt disgusting and that I had done something shameful and I could tell that the crew was uncomfortable and nobody knew what to do.”
According to the documentary, this was the first time Warner allegedly sexually assaulted her, and it was documented on camera.
“I was coerced into a commercial sex act under false pretences,” Wood said. “That’s when the first crime was committed against me. I was essentially raped on-camera.”
Part one of the documentary was filmed before Wood came forward with her initial allegation against Warner in February last year. Wood had previously made allegations against an unnamed ex, but in February last year, she finally went public with the allegations against Warner specifically.
“The name of my abuser is Brian Warner, also known to the world as Marilyn Manson,” Wood wrote on Instagram at the time. “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. I stand with the many victims who will no longer be silent.”
In a statement provided to Rolling Stone, Warner’s attorney Howard King rebukes Wood’s claims — as Warner has done to all allegations of sexual assault that have arisen previously.
“Of all the false claims that Evan Rachel Wood has made about Brian Warner, 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,” King said. “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.”
Additionally, King flat out denies Wood’s claim that the pair had sex on set.
“The simulated sex scene took several hours to shoot with multiple takes using different angles and several long breaks in between camera setups,” King adds. “Brian did not have sex with Evan on that set, and she knows that is the truth.”
If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit 1800RESPECT.org.au. In an emergency, call 000.
Men can access anonymous confidential telephone counselling to help to stop using violent and controlling behaviour through the Men’s Referral Service on 1300 766 491.
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