Evan Rachel Wood is opening up about her previous relationship with Marilyn Manson, his alleged abuse and her work to help survivors of domestic abuse.
In a new two-part HBO documentary “Phoenix Rising,” produced and directed by Amy Berg, Wood describes the alleged abuse she claims she endured from Manson, whose real name is Brian Warner, while she was with him.
The “Westworld” actress says they previously dated on and off for more than four years after she met him when she was 18 years old; they were engaged for a brief period in 2010.
In an interview with “Good Morning America” that aired Monday, Wood explained why she decided to publicly name Warner as her alleged abuser in February 2021, after previously speaking out about being a survivor of abuse and not naming an alleged abuser.
MORE: Evan Rachel Wood accuses ex Marilyn Manson of abuse: Everything to know
Wood said she had previously feared naming Warner because she was “too scared.”
“It was made very clear to me that there would be retaliation … and to expose a person in power, who is as high profile as he is, clearly is a huge undertaking,” she said.
When Wood spoke out in 2021, she alleged Manson “started grooming me when I was a teenager and horrifically abused me for years.”
“I was brainwashed and manipulated into submission,” her message on Instagram continued. “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.”
At the time, Manson posted a response on his Instagram account, calling Wood’s claims “horrible distortions of reality” and stating that his “intimate relationships have always been entirely consensual with like-minded partners.”
On his response, Wood said on “GMA” this week, “From what I can tell, he’s alluding to the fact that maybe this was just kinky sex. Brian and I did not have a BDSM relationship. We did not have kinky sex. This is not a sexual preference. This is not — that’s not what we are talking about here.”
In the documentary, Wood opens up more about the alleged abuse and speaks about a specific incident when she says she tried to leave Manson and he allegedly hurt himself in response.
“He called me 158 times and cut himself every time I didn’t pick up the phone and said he was going to kill himself,” she claims in the documentary. “This is when people in my life said, ‘You need to get a restraining order.’ And I said, ‘Absolutely not, absolutely not.’ Getting a restraining order seemed absolutely crazy to me, because I was like, ‘You’re only going to make him more mad.'”
“I went back to his home to try to defuse the situation after he’d been cutting himself and threatening suicide,” she said on “GMA.” “And I was severely punished.”
Although the February 2021 Instagram post was the first time Wood publicly named Warner as her alleged abuser, she has spoken publicly before about being a survivor of abuse.
In February 2018, she spoke about being a domestic violence and sexual assault survivor while appearing before the House Judiciary Committee to push for the Sexual Assault Survivors’ Bill of Rights Act, and in 2019, she spoke about being a survivor of abuse in front of the California Senate Public Safety committee in support of the Phoenix Act.
She did not name her abuser in either testimony. Wood first publicly described herself as a survivor of sexual assault in a public letter shared to Twitter in 2016.
Wood said on “GMA” she chose to speak out then because, “So many survivors live in fear of judgment and retaliation and mainly live with shame, and I know because I experienced it. And whenever a survive comes forward or whenever there are allegations, it’s hard for me not to make it personal. And I could feel at that time that it was time to say something. It was time to stop being silent.”
Warner filed a lawsuit against Wood and Illma Gore, who is featured in the HBO project and who Warner claims is Wood’s on-again, off-again romantic partner, earlier this month.
In the lawsuit, he alleges they used the documentary “to recruit, coordinate and pressure women who have been linked to Warner to make false accusations of abuse against him.”
The lawsuit also alleges that Wood and Gore impersonated an FBI agent in a fictitious letter “to create the false appearance that Warner’s alleged ‘victims’ and their families were in danger, and that there was a federal criminal investigation of Warner ongoing.”
The lawsuit also claims that the women “provided checklists and scripts to prospective accusers, listing the specific alleged acts of abuse that they should claim against Warner,” among other complaints.
In response to the HBO documentary, Howard King, attorney for Brian Warner, issued the following statement to ABC News: “As we detailed in our lawsuit, nothing that Evan Rachel Wood, Illma Gore or their hand-picked co-conspirators have said on this matter can be trusted,” the statement read. “This is just more of the same. But, then again, what else would you expect from a group who have spread falsehood after falsehood about Brian and even went as far as to forge an FBI letter to further their phony claims?”