Content Warning: This article about Marilyn Manson discusses sexual abuse and domestic violence. If you or someone you know is affected by the following story, you are not alone. To speak to someone, you can call Lifeline on 13 11 14, or 1800 RESPECT on 1800 737 732.
Marilyn Manson has issued a statement responding to allegations of sexual, emotional and domestic abuse that have unfurled over the past 24 hours.
Earlier today, Thirteen actress Evan Rachel Wood took to Instagram to pen a statement alleging that for years, Marilyn Manson groomed and “horrifically abused” her.
“The name of my abuser is Brian Warner, also known to the world as Marilyn Manson,” Wood wrote. “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.”
Wood’s statement prompted four other women to come forward, detailing their own alleged abuse experienced at the hands of Manson. Incidents that spanned from rape, sexual assault and psychological abuse.
Ashley Walters, a former personal assistant of Manson, alleged that the shock rocker used manipulated her with “mind control, torture tactics, i.e. using different sound frequencies that would shift your mood or make you nauseous, and spy devices to gather information for blackmailing”.
In another post, model Sarah McNeilley detailed her relationship with Manson. “He (Bryan Warner) lured me in with ‘love bombing’,” she claimed. “As he was wooing me I would come to find out that he was torturing others. Before long, I was the one being tortured,” she explained. McNeilly went on to allege that Manson would lock her in rooms for hours, isolating her from friends and colleagues.
“I was verbally berated for hours upon hours. Blamed for everything under the sun in order to make me feel worthless,” she alleged.
McNeilly detailed several alleged violent outbursts, including an incident where Warner “threatened to bash my face in” and another when he threatened to “shank” a male friend.
In another testimony, a visual artist that practices under the moniker SourGirrrl, detailed a relationship she had with Manson at 22 when he was then 46. She alleges that Manson tied her up, sexually assaulted her, circulating naked photos of her without consent, and threatened to kill her.
“It has taken me five years to speak out and say that I was in an abusive relationship,” she wrote on Instagram. “I have been diagnosed with PTSD and still suffer from nightmares.”
Marilyn Manson has since taken to social media, releasing a statement denying the allegations made against him.
“Obviously, my art and my life have long been magnets for controversy, but these recent claims about me are horrible distortions of reality,” he wrote in an Instagram post. “My intimate relationships have always been entirely consensual with like-minded partners. Regardless of how — and why — others are now choosing to misrepresent the past, that is the truth.”
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In 2018, Wood testified before the House Judiciary Subcommittee in a campaign to get the Sexual Assault Survivors’ Bill of Rights passed in 50 US states. At the time she withheld the name of her abuser.
“My experience with domestic violence was this: Toxic mental, physical and sexual abuse which started slow but escalated over time, including threats against my life, severe gaslighting and brainwashing, waking up to the man that claimed to love me raping what he believed to be my unconscious body,” she told the subcommittee.
The following year, Wood testified before California legislators on behalf of the Phoenix Act. The act, which was signed by Gavin Newsom October 7, extends the statute of limitations on domestic violence felonies from three to five years. It also requires police officers to undertake more training on intimate partner violence.
During her testament in front of the State Senate, Wood detailed that she had been groomed by an older man when she was 18. Wood detailed that her abuser left her terrified for her life, using techniques like starvation, sleep deprivation and threatening her life.
Following the allegations being brought to light Manson’s label, Lomo Vista, announced that they would cease working with the artist.