The entertainment industry has seen many dark and twisted stories come to light as of late. The spate of sexual assault allegations and the many victims coming forward is a sign of the times, and the day of reckoning is upon the perpetrators of these misdeeds. The latest news to come out of this vicious cycle involved Evan Rachel Wood, who alleges that she was “essentially raped” while filming Marilyn Manson’s music video for “Heart-Shaped Glasses.”
In the new documentary Phoenix Rising, which premiered at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival, Evan Rachel Wood claimed that she did not consent to sex on the set of “Heart-Shaped Glasses.” Manson denied the allegations through his attorney.
Phoenix Rising focuses on the life and career of Evan Rachel Wood. The film is the first part of a two-part documentary directed by Oscar-nominated director Amy Berg. Berg clarified that the films are essentially a work in progress as the second part has yet to be detailed and outlined. The film lays out the abuse allegations Wood made against Marilyn Manson last year and also included new allegations coming out of the woodwork.
In the film, Wood discusses the music video for Manson’s 2007 single “Heart-Shaped Glasses,” which she starred in alongside Manson. The singer said that the song was inspired by Wood. “It’s nothing like I thought it was going to be,” Wood recalled of being on the video’s set. “We’re doing things that were not what was pitched to me,” she added.
She mentioned that she was never informed of actual penetration or the act of sexual intercourse itself. “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 have been doing this my whole life; I’d never been on a set that unprofessional in my life up until this day,” shared Wood.
“It was complete chaos, and 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. I felt disgusting and like 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. That’s when the first crime was committed against me, and I was essentially raped on camera,” she added.
Throughout the first part of Phoenix Rising, Wood discusses many elements of her life with Manson, including allegations that he isolated her from her family and abused her while on tour.
Marilyn Manson’s attorney Howard King shared a statement on the allegations with several news outlets:
“Of all the false claims that Evan Rachel Wood has made about Brian Warner, her imaginative retelling of the making of the “Heart-Shaped Glasses” music video 15 years ago is the most brazen and easiest to disprove because there were multiple witnesses. Evan was not only fully coherent and engaged during the three-day shoot but also heavily involved in weeks of pre-production planning and days of post-production editing of the final cut. The simulated sex scene took several hours to shoot, with multiple takes using different angles and several long breaks in between camera setups. Brian did not have sex with Evan on that set, and she knows that is the truth.”
Phoenix Rising will air on HBO in March. According to an earlier report from Variety, Evan Rachel Wood and Amy Berg worked on the project in secret. Before her work with Phoenix Rising, Berg has been known for creating hard-hitting documentaries about sexual abuse perpetrated by the Catholic Church and against child actors. She also worked on HBO’s series “The Case Against Adnan Syed,” which was a re-examination of the 1999 disappearance and murder of 18-year-old Hae Min Lee in Baltimore County and the subsequent conviction of her ex-boyfriend, Adnan Syed.