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Evan Rachel Wood Responds to Marilyn Manson’s Lawsuit: ‘I’m Not Scared’

“This is part of the retaliation that keeps survivors quiet,” actress says

Evan Rachel Wood responded to Marilyn Manson’s defamation lawsuit against her during her Monday appearance on The View. Manson, whose real name is Brian Warner, alleged that the actress defamed him in conversations with other women who have accused him of sexual abuse.

“I can’t obviously speak about any of the specific allegations of the lawsuit, but I’m not scared,” she said ahead of the release of her upcoming doc Phoenix Rising. “I am sad, ’cause this is how it works. This is what pretty much every survivor that tries to expose someone in a position of power goes though, and this is part of the retaliation that keeps survivors quiet. This is why people don’t want to come forward. This was expected.

“I am very confident that I have the truth on my side and that the truth will come out,” she continued. “This is clearly timed before the documentary. … I’m not doing this [film] to clear my name. I’m doing this to protect people. I’m doing this to sound the alarm that there is a dangerous person out there and I don’t want anybody getting near him. So people can think whatever they want about me. I have to let the legal process run its course, and I’m steady as a rock.”

Warner sued Wood for defamation, emotional distress, and “impersonation over the internet,” earlier this month. He claimed that Wood and her friend, activist Illma Gore, impersonated an FBI agent to entice women to come forward with allegations against him. He also alleged that Wood and Gore coached the women and slandered him to them, “including the defamatory claim that Warner filmed the sexual assault of a minor.” Gore, he claimed, also hacked into his email and “swatted” him.

On Feb. 1, 2021, Wood sent an Instagram post that named Warner as the man she said abused her during a relationship. “He started grooming me when I was a teenager and horrifically abused me for years,” she wrote. “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.”

In Phoenix Rising, Wood chronicles her relationship with Warner and details her allegation against him, leading up to her decision to name him publicly. The first segment of the two-part film will premiere on HBO tomorrow with the second premiering Wednesday; both parts will be available to stream on HBO Max tomorrow.

In a clip from the doc, which Rolling Stone premiered, Wood alleged that Warner was monitoring her during their relationship as a means of intimidation. “He was monitoring my every move,” she said. “I couldn’t reach out to anybody to say, ‘I need help,’ because if he caught me doing that … it would be up for two days getting yelled at, pleading my case, trying to talk him off the ledge. He just knew how to break you down.”

On The View, Wood spoke about how she attempted suicide at age 22 during her relationship with Warner. “When somebody aids in the destruction of your self, and you forget who you are, you feel pretty broken and pretty empty,” she said. “And honestly, the suicide attempt is another form of escape. When you don’t feel like you’re going to get out of this hole — there’s no way to leave, there’s no way to go — that is one way of leaving. And it did not work. And that was the turning point, ’cause it made me think, ‘I guess there’s a reason why I’m here. I’m at the bottom so there’s no way to go but up.’ I always cite it as the best ‘worst thing’ to ever happen to me, because it was when the phoenix rose from the ashes. It was the beginning.”

Wood also spoke about the hope she has felt from the emergence of the #MeToo movement in recent years. “The #MeToo movement did give me a lot of hope,” she said. “And sexual assault has had its day, and we are speaking about things like grooming and gaslighting. These words were not on our lips just a few years ago. Now I truly believe domestic violence has had its day.”

From Rolling Stone US