Evan Rachel Wood is opening up in further detail about the sexual abuse she says she experienced at the hands of ex Marilyn Manson in a new documentary.
Part 1 of the film Phoenix Rising premiered Sunday night at the Sundance Film Festival (the entire documentary debuts in full on HBO in March). In it, the three-time Golden Globe nominee, 34, discussed being groomed into a tumultuous relationship with Manson (born Brian Warner), from mid-2006 until early 2011. She likened it to being under the influence of his “cult.”
Wood recalled that Manson’s “first crime” against her allegedly took place while filming the now-53-year-old rocker’s 2007 “Heart-Shaped Glasses” music video when she was 19.
“It’s nothing like I thought it was going to be,” Wood said in the music video. “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. I’m a professional actress, I’ve been doing this my whole life; I’ve never been on a set that unprofessional in my life up until this day.”
“It was complete chaos,” she continued. “I did not feel safe. No one was looking after me. It was a really traumatizing 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.”
Wood said that afterward she “felt disgusting and that I had done something shameful, and I could tell that the crew was very uncomfortable and nobody knew what to do.”
“I was coerced into a commercial sex act under false pretenses,” she added in the documentary, which was directed by Oscar nominee Amy Berg (Deliver Us from Evil). “That’s when the first crime was committed against me. I was essentially raped on-camera.”
The Westworld actress explained that she was “scared” to speak out about the incident at the time, citing violence that would “keep escalating over the course of the relationship.” She said it took her a “really long time” to stop blaming herself and realize what was happening to her.
A rep for Manson did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment. Manson has consistently denied such claims in the past.
In a virtual Q&A following the screening, Wood discussed why she felt the need to tell her story in the documentary. “It’s time for me to tell the truth,” she said. “It’s time for me to finally tell my side. I can’t have it told for me anymore and people are going to believe whatever they’re going to believe. It’s not my job to convince people. I’m not lying. It’s my job to tell the truth and that’s what I’ve done. It’s all I can do.”
After first opening up in 2016 about being sexually assaulted by a “significant other” and subsequently testifying in support of multiple pieces of legislation that protect survivors of sexual assault, Wood named Manson as her alleged abuser in February 2021.
“The name of my abuser is Brian Warner, also known to the world as Marilyn Manson,” Wood wrote in an Instagram post 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,” the actress added. “I stand with the many victims who will no longer be silent.”
Wood is among at least 15 women who have accused Manson of sexual assault and he has since been hit with three lawsuits by his accusers, including his ex-girlfriend Ashley Morgan Smithline and Game of Thronesactress Esmé Bianco.
Manson has denied all allegations, which he called “horrible distortions of reality.”
“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,” he said.
Marilyn is absolutely disgusting. He should be in jail.