Evan Rachel Wood will document her decision to name Marilyn Manson as her alleged abuser in a new documentary, Phoenix Rising.
Last year, the actor publicly accused Manson, her former partner, of abuse, claiming that he started grooming her when she was a teenager and “horrifically abused me for years”.
The musician has denied all allegations by Wood and allegations by others, claiming that his accusers were “cynically and dishonestly seeking to monetise and exploit the #MeToo movement” by launching a “coordinated attack against him”.
The film was directed by Amy Berg, who Wood approached in 2019 to work on the project.
Speaking to Variety, the director said of the original plan for the documentary: “It wasn’t about Marilyn Manson and his whole world. This was about an Erin Brockovich story. We were really focused on telling a story about empowerment, something that would offer resources for women and men who are stuck in abusive situations. And that was what we were making – until she decided to name him publicly.”
Wood later decided to name Manson after he released a new record and speculation about her previous claims on being a victim of domestic abuse reignited. Subsequently, the pair decided to expand the film’s scope to cover her decision to come forward and the aftermath of her making her allegations.
Berg added that the film explores the actor’s family life, career as a child actor, “and how she was forced into adulthood from such a young age” in roles in films such as Thirteen. “She’s so candid with us,” the filmmaker said. “And it’s very personal.”
After Wood publicly accused Manson, other women came forward with their own allegations against the rock star. Among them were Game Of Thrones actor Esme Bianco – who is suing Manson for alleged sexual assault, physical abuse and human trafficking – and his former assistant Ashley Walters, who is suing him for sexual assault, battery and harassment. Manson strongly denies these claims.
Following the allegations being made public, Manson was dropped by his label, Loma Vista, his agent, manager and publicist. He was also axed from scheduled appearances in TV shows including American Gods and Creepshow.