The two-part HBO documentary Phoenix Rising — Part One: Don’t Fall premiered virtually at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival over the weekend, and in it, actress Evan Rachel Wood speaks in detail of the abuse she allegedly suffered at the hands of her former fiancé Marilyn Manson, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
When she first testified about her abuse to Congress in 2018 to support a bill benefiting sexual assault survivors, Wood didn’t directly name Manson, born Brian Warner, as her abuser. In the film, she explains that was because she was afraid that Warner or one of his fans might harm her, her child or her family if she did so.
She later publicly named Warner in a February 2021 social media post. At the time, he responded with a statement saying “recent claims about me are horrible distortions of reality.”
Now, according to The Hollywood Reporter, in Phoenix Rising, Wood describes Warner’s physical, sexual and psychological abuse, including how he allegedly drugged and sexually assaulted her while filming the video for “Heart-Shaped Glasses.”
However, The Hollywood Reporter notes that the movie is less about excoriating Warner and more about “helping others recognize warning signs in their own troubled relationships” and “influencing lawmakers.” Indeed, the movie is named after the Phoenix Act, which increases the time that survivors have to bring charges against their abusers. The law passed in the California State Senate in 2020, following the testimony of Wood and other victims.
Since Wood spoke out, more women have come forward with accusations of sexual, physical and mental abuse against Warner, including actor Esmé Bianco, model Ashley Morgan Smithline, and Warner’s former assistant, Ashley Walters, all of whom filed lawsuits against him. Through lawyers, Warner has denied the allegations.
For anyone affected by abuse and needing support, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233, or if you’re unable to speak safely, you can log onto thehotline.org or text LOVEIS to 1-866-331-9474.
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