Actress Evan Rachel Wood received an Emmy nomination for her role in “Mildred Pierce” — but away from the spotlight, she says she lived in a constant nightmare.
In the second half of “Phoenix Rising” — a two-part documentary set to air on HBO, beginning March 15, that’s directed by Oscar- and Emmy-nominated filmmaker Amy Berg — Wood, 34, reveals she realized she was pregnant with the baby of her alleged abuser, Marilyn Manson, while working on that 2011 miniseries.
“From the beginning of our relationship, he always had an issue with whatever birth control I was using — and I went through, like, every type to see which one he liked, and he didn’t like any of them, so essentially he didn’t want me using birth control,” Wood says in the film, whose first half premiered during the Sundance Film Festival in January. She claims that Manson refused to wear a condom, and using spermicides after intercourse didn’t work.
Wood decided to terminate the pregnancy — and was shocked when Manson demanded she cook him a meal directly after the abortion.
“He flew out for the abortion,” Wood says on camera. “The second it was over it was like, ‘Make me dinner.’ And I remember being like, ‘I’m supposed to be resting — my body has gone through this trauma. . . there’s aftermath here.’ And he didn’t care.”
The incident nearly drove her to end her own life. At a later, unspecified, date, she says she tried to kill herself.
“I went into the bathroom and I took [a] glass and I shattered it on the floor and just started digging at my wrists as hard as I could,” Wood tells her friend, the artist and activist Illma Gore.
While Wood’s suicide attempt was ultimately unsuccessful, it was a turning point, she says in the film. “When I woke up, I felt different. I feel like whoever I was went to sleep and didn’t wake up that night, and this new version woke up and had to start rebuilding her life. I called my mom and I said, ‘I just tried to kill myself, and I need to go to a hospital, like, immediately.’ ”
Drugged and alone
The “Westworld” actress first identified 53-year-old Manson, whose real name is Brian Warner, as her alleged abuser last February, after previously referring to a traumatic relationship with an anonymous man in the press. “Phoenix Rising” tracks Wood’s decision to go public with his name, which ultimately came in the form of a statement posted on Instagram. In the first part of the documentary, Wood’s explosive claims include Manson forcing her to have sex on camera for his 2007 music video “Heart-Shaped Glasses.”
Wood claims Manson’s abuse was incessant. She alleviates that she was forced into isolation inside his Spanish-style Los Angeles home where she says she was kept in “freezing cold” temperatures and deprived of sleep.
The “True Blood” actress also says she believes Manson drugged her, with everything from meth to sleeping pills.
“This is also when he started raping me in my sleep,” Wood says in the film’s second half. “I’d wake up, I just remember doing the mental math quickly and thinking, ‘Just stay, just stay asleep, don’t move, just don’t move.’ So I would just lie limp and still until it was over, and then I swear to God, he would just fling my leg and walk out of the room.”
More women’s stories
The day that Wood came forward with her charges last year, several other women followed suit — two of whom appear in the film’s second installment. The documentary shows them meeting together in October of 2020, along with two former Manson assistants, including Dan Cleary, who had recently posted a viral Twitter thread about how the shock-rocker “turned [Wood] into a different person. He broke her.”
One of the women, identified only as Sarah, is model Sarah McNeilly, whose own 2021 statement on Instagram included allegations that she was locked in rooms when she was “bad” and “sometimes forced to listen to [Manson] entertaining other women.”
The other, identified only as Ashley S., is Ashley Morgan Smithline, who’s Jewish. In a 2021 Instagram post, she described Manson asking her to bring him Nazi memorabilia home from a modeling gig in Thailand, which made her feel “so much guilt and shame.”
“I remember this one time, it actually got physical — and he, like, threw me up against a wall and had a baseball bat, and said he was gonna smash my f – – king face in because I was trying to get him to pick out pants,” McNeilly says in the film. Smithline, discussing how she wanted to escape Manson, reveals, “I let my appendix burst. It went gangrenous, I went septic. I was, like, ‘Just let me f – – king die, just let me die so I don’t have to feel this s – – t.’ ”
After briefly fleeing Manson’s home in 2009, Wood later alleges that Manson lured her back in — and tells the group he did so through torture. Wood, who’s also Jewish, alleges Manson tied her to a prayer kneeler inside his home and struck her repeatedly with a Nazi whip. He then allegedly shocked her welts and her “private parts” with an electrode.
“It hurt so bad that I broke the kneeler in half,” Wood told the others. “I remember in that moment thinking, ‘Just tell him whatever he wants to hear, just tell him whatever he wants to hear’. . . and I said, ‘I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry.’ I was begging for forgiveness, and he was cradling me and saying, ‘You understand now.’ And then he cut open his hand. . . and made me drink his blood. And then he cut me. . . and drank mine.”
The film then shows headlines announcing Wood had gotten back together with Manson. One, from Perez Hilton, who began calling Wood “Evan Rachel Whore” following the “Heart-Shaped Glasses” video, proclaimed “Evan Rachel Whore and Marilyn Manson: ‘On’ Again!” with the word “HO” scrawled over her head.
“The allegations that Evan Rachel Wood has made against Marilyn Manson are recent,” Hilton told The Post in a statement when asked for comment on his coverage. “I believe her.”
To date, at least 15 women have accused Manson of sexual, emotional and physical abuse; authorities have launched an investigation, but no charges have been brought.
On Wednesday, Manson sued Wood in LA Superior Court, charging that she and Gore have defamed him with rape allegations for their own monetary gain and intentionally inflicted emotional distress upon him. The suit alleges that Wood’s 2021 Instagram statement came after “months of conspiring with Gore on how to use Wood’s celebrity status to recruit other women and coordinate their ‘stories,’ ” but also that they “derailed [Manson’s] career” and used “Phoenix Rising” to “recruit, coordinate, and pressure women who had been linked to Warner to make false accusations of abuse against him.”
“As we detailed in our lawsuit, nothing that Evan Rachel Wood, Illma Gore or their hand-picked co-conspirators have said on this matter can be trusted,” Manson’s attorney, Howard King, told The Post in a statement regarding the film. “This is just more of the same.”