Marilyn Manson accused by GoT actress Esmé Bianco, Evan Rachel Wood and many others
British actress Esmé Bianco, known for her role as Ros in 'Game of Thrones,' has filed a lawsuit against Marilyn Manson for sexual abuse. Among other things, she claims that he deceived her into staying at his house under the pretense of shooting a music video and then abused her physically, emotionally, and sexually. It is yet another in a series of accusations by various women against the rock star.
The alleged abuse of Esmé Bianco (now 38) by Marilyn Manson (now 52) had taken place in 2011. In the years after that, she had talked about an unnamed abuser but always kept Manson out of the story. He was very powerful and backed by the music industry, she tells 'Rolling Stone.' Now, in 2021, the actress speaks out and calls the rocker a "sexual predator" and a "monster."
Marilyn Manson's lawyer has responded to Bianco's accusation, saying that her "claims are provably false." He also states that the actress has made "outrageous financial demands based on conduct that simply never occurred," and that he will "vigorously contest these allegations in court."
The series of accusations against Marilyn Manson began with a shocking revelation on the social media of Evan Rachel Wood. It read: "The name of my abuser is Brian Warner, also known to the world as Marilyn Manson." A blunt and direct statement, Wood's post accused her ex-partner of continuous abuse over the years.
After this first revelation, several stories by other stars and female friends of the rock singer appeared online, saying he had abused them too.
Marilyn Manson even got a visit from the police at his house. While not directly related to the accusations, TMZ reports, it did have to do with all the recent controversy surrounding them. Police had received a call from a friend of Manson's who became concerned when the singer did not answer his calls and texts for hours.
Apparently, Marilyn Manson did not want to receive the police and did not open the doors of his mansion. His representative contacted the officers, though, and assured them that the artist was perfectly fine and that he just wanted to be left alone.
While the police seem to have dropped their concern about the rocker's wellbeing, the accusations and insinuations from many in his (former) circle continue to rain down on Manson. The people denouncing him include musicians Phoebe Bridgers, Ellie Rowsell, and Trent Reznor. They all used to be friends with Marilyn Manson.
Singer Phoebe Bridgers, who lit up Saturday Night Live with her performance in February 2021, is one of the people who have their own, shocking story about Marilyn Manson. "I went to Marilyn Manson's house when I was a teenager with some friends," she recounts on Twitter. "I was a big fan."
At some point during the teen's visit, the rocker "referred to a room in his house as the r*pe room," Bridgers says. "I thought it was just his horrible frat boy sense of humor. I stopped being a fan."
Bridgers adds that she "[stands] with everyone who came forward." Her remark suggests that while she may have only experienced an inappropriate joke, such gags about violence against women can be a sign of more serious acts of misogyny.
Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor used to be a friend of Marilyn Manson. He helped him produce his first album in 1993 and invited Manson to tour with Nine Inch Nails as a support act. After a few years, the friendship was over.
At the height of his fame, in 1998, Marilyn Manson published an autobiography: 'The Long Hard Road Out of Hell.' At some point, the book suggests that he and Trent Reznor assaulted a woman together in the mid-90s. The Nine Inch Nail singer has always denied that allegation.
When the anecdote resurfaced in the recent discussions about Marilyn Manson, Reznor made the following statement to 'Pitchfork': "I have been vocal over the years about my dislike of Manson as a person and cut ties with him nearly 25 years ago. As I said at the time, the passage from Manson’s memoir is a complete fabrication. I was infuriated and offended back when it came out and remain so today."
After Phoebe Bridgers and Trent Reznor, another musician opened up about having an experience of misogyny with Marilyn Manson. Singer Ellie Rowsell of the band Wolf Alice met the rock star at a festival. He was very enthusiastic about her band, or so it seemed.
"I met Marilyn backstage at a festival a few years ago. After his compliments towards my band became more and more hyperbolic I became suspicious of his behaviour. I was shocked to look down and see he was filming up my skirt with a gopro." Such was Ellie Rowsell's experience with the megastar.
"There were no repercussions for his behaviour," she added. "His tour manager simply said 'he does this kind of thing all the time.'"
All these anecdotes by fellow musicians were a response to that one first, bombshell announcement. It all began with the story of Evan Rachel Wood about her ex Marilyn Manson on February 1, 2021.
As she recounts in her explosive Instagram post, Manson "started grooming me when I was a teenager and horrifically abused me for years. I was brainwashed and manipulated into submission."
Evan Rachel Wood, known for her role as Dolores in 'Westworld' (HBO), shocked the ranks of showbiz and rock music with her highly explicit confession.
"I am done living in fear of retaliation, slander, or blackmail," she continued. "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 first, it seemed unclear what kind of possible blackmail or retaliation the actress was talking about. But a few days after her first post, she made another revelation: people around Marilyn Manson had threatened to publish embarrassing or even incriminating photos of Evan Rachel Wood if she ever made her accusations against him public.
In her follow-up post, Evan Rachel Wood declares that certain individuals were "conspiring to release photos of me when I was UNDERAGE, after being given large amounts of drugs and alcohol... to 'Ruin my career' and 'Shut me up.' She added a copy of the police report to her post, to make sure that readers appreciated its veracity.
One of the people Wood accused of attempted blackmail was Lindsay Usich, the photographer with whom Marilyn Manson has had an on-and-off relationship since 2012 and whom he married in 2020. Usich appears to support her husband and has not made any statement so far.
For years, Evan Rachel Wood had talked about being a victim of domestic violence and repeated abuse. She told 'Rolling Stone' in 2016 that she had been assaulted on two occasions (by two different men). However, until 2021 she had never revealed the name of her abuser.
"He started grooming me when I was a teenager," she says, referring to a stormy relationship that became official in 2007 but had started earlier, when Evan Rachel Wood was 18 and Marilyn Manson 36: twice her age.
After several ups and downs, break-ups and broken engagements, rumors began to circulate in showbiz circles that something wasn't right between the two. They hinted at abusive behavior that Evan Rachel Wood is now denouncing publicly. The couple broke up indefinitely in 2010.
In another recent post about her experiences with Marilyn Manson, Wood describes that his attacks were sometimes racist. "I was called a 'jew' in a derogatory manner," she says. "He would draw swastikas over my bedside table when he was mad at me." Wood adds that she was never more scared in her life than during her time with the rock star.
Jill Filipovic says on the NBC News site 'Think' that the abusive relationship of Marilyn Manson and Evan Rachel Wood had been "one the worst-kept secrets in the music industry." Not only did the actress ambiguously refer to it, but the rock singer himself would talk openly about his feelings and behavior towards Evan Rachel Wood. He told 'Spin' magazine in 2009 that he had "called Wood 158 times" after a breakup, and he also said that "he fantasized about murdering her."
In 2020, Filipovic recounts, Manson's team said that this 2009 interview shouldn't be taken literally. He just expressed "a fantasy" in "a theatrical rock star interview promoting a new record, and not a factual account." While seemingly giving mere publicity to his new song 'I Want to Kill You Like They Do in the Movies," Marilyn Manson did scare his ex-girlfriend in real life, though.
In the years after her relationship with Marilyn Manson, Evan Rachel Wood has discussed domestic abuse publicly. She had also opened her Instagram account to share testimonies of other women suffering abuse.
After her revelation in February 2021, Evan Rachel Wood saw her story complemented by those of several other women. Each gave their own testimony about their experiences with Marilyn Manson.
Ashley Walters, one of the women pointing a finger at the singer, claims to be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder since the abuse. She wrote on Instagram: "I cannot stand by and let this happen to others. Brian Warner must be held accountable."
The photographer recounts that Marilyn Manson hired her as a personal assistant and became very close with her. "I didn't realize he was gathering information that he'd later use against me," she says. "I soon became a victim of his psychological abuse."
Another alleged victim, Sara Mcneilly, has spoken out in the same vein, claiming that both her personal goals and her self-esteem suffered because of Marilyn Manson. "He likes to ruin people's lives," she says in a lengthy Instagram post. "I want Brian to be held accountable for his evil."
Rose McGowan, who was Marilyn Manson's partner from 1997 to 2001, has also taken Evan Rachel Wood's side. Even though she did not indicate having experienced any abuse herself, she said: "I stand with her and other brave women who have spoken out. It takes years to recover from abuse and I send them strength on their journey to recovery. Let the truth be revealed. Let the healing begin."
Burlesque star and actress Dita Von Teese was Marilyn Manson's partner when he started seeing Evan Rachel Wood. They were married from 2005 to 2007. In the wake of the revelations about her ex-husband, Von Teese also posted a reaction. "Please know that the details made public do not match my personal experience during our 7 years together as a couple," she wrote on Twitter. "Had they, I would not have married him in December 2005."
Von Teese clarified that she left the singer after one year of marriage "due to infidelity and drug abuse." Even though she did not recall the alleged abuse in her own relationship with Manson, she added a word of support for the women who did: "Abuse of any kind has no place in any relationship. I urge those of you who have incurred abuse to take steps to heal and the strength to fully realize yourself."
Marilyn Manson himself had already addressed the accusations by that time. "My life and my art have long been magnets of controversy," he said on Instagram, "but these recent claims about me are horrible distortions of reality."
"My intimate relationships have always been fully consensual with like-minded partners," he adds. "Regardless of how and why others now choose to misrepresent the past, that is the truth."
And that was the statement that sparked Ellie Rowsell to tell her story about Manson filming up her skirt. "I wasn't sure whether to bring any of this up," she tweeted, "but Manson claims in his recent statement that his relationships were 'entirely consensual' - I don't think he knows the meaning of consent if he goes around up-skirting young women at festivals."
"If he does this kind of thing all the time," she says, "why on earth has be been headlining festivals for so many years? When will we stop enabling misogynists on the account of their success? Women must feel safe in the male dominated world that is the music industry."
People in the music industry have been able to ignore the stories, Jill Filipovic says on the NBC site, because Marilyn Manson's makeup and theatrical shows made them feel like it was all an act. "It's always been easier, it seems, to write Manson off as a joke. He is, after all, a grown adult who dresses up in white face paint and stylized contact lenses to make himself appear threatening..."
"But the theatrics also give him an excuse for very real bad behavior," Filipovic says. "Manson may be a cringey attention-seeker, but that doesn't make his alleged treatment of Wood (or of the other women who say he abused them) any less harmful... Even if a man wears silly makeup and puts on an aggressive stage persona, women and girls still absolutely have the right to safety and respect."
As Manson himself says, it's his "art" that drew "controversy," and the entertainment industry seems to have been unable to look beyond that. This "decision to ignore his comments" has been "harmful to women everywhere,' Filipovic concludes.
It seems that the music industry is now starting to take note. For the time being, and pending the development of the story, Marilyn Manson has endured financial consequences for the accusations. The Loma Vista Recording label has stated that it will no longer work with the artist, and so has his longtime manager Tony Ciulla.
At the same time, the Amazon Prime series 'American Gods' has also decided to eliminate the singer's presence in one of its episodes. The third season of the popular show is currently underway, but Marilyn Manson's guest role will no longer be in it. The same goes for Shudder's series 'Creepshow.'