Tracing Marilyn Manson’s Blurred Traces Between Shock Rock and Alleged Abuse

May 2007: Wood stars alongside Manson in a sexually suggestive video for his song “Heart-Shaped Glasses (When the Heart Guides the Hand).” It’s public knowledge that Wood is dating Manson, who’s in the midst of a divorce from dancer Dita Von Teese. The following year, Manson and Wood split.

June 2009: In an interview published by SPIN, Manson says he self-harmed after his breakup from Wood, and that he fantasizes about hurting her. “I have fantasies every day about smashing her skull in with a sledgehammer,” he is quoted as saying. His camp later claims he was not serious and that he made the remarks in a spirit of theatrical exaggeration.

July 2009: Manson apparently threatens violence toward music journalists. “I am far different than the soon-to-be-murdered-in-their-home press has decided to fabricate,” he writes, in a blog post that is no longer online, responding to a disparaging media mention. “If one more ‘journalist’ makes a cavalier statement about me and my band, I will personally or with my fans’ help, greet them at their home and discover just how much they believe in their freedom of speech.”

November 2009: Manson releases the video for his song “Running to the Edge of the World,” which contains a staged scene of him appearing to brutally beat a female character who, several critics note, seems to resemble Wood.

January 2010: Having reconciled, Manson and Wood are reportedly engaged; he proposes while on stage. Within months, they split up again.

November 2016: In a Rolling Stone interview, Wood speaks publicly for the first time about being raped “by a significant other while we were together.” She also refers to her “physical, psychological, (and) sexual” abuse by a partner. She does not elaborate on the alleged perpetrator’s identity.

October 2017: Manson’s longtime bassist, Twiggy Ramirez, is accused of rape. Manson, after saying he “knew nothing about these allegations until very recently” and was “saddened” for the alleged survivor’s “obvious distress,” parts ways with Ramirez. Ramirez issues a statement claiming that he has “only recently been made aware of these allegations from over 20 years ago,” and maintains, “I do not condone non-consensual sex of any kind.”

February 2018: Comedian and actor Charlyne Yi accuses Manson of harassing women and making racist comments on the set of the TV drama House. Manson doesn’t comment on the claims.

The same month, again without naming names, Wood details experiences of sexual assault and domestic violence in testimony before Congress. “My experience with domestic violence was this,” she says, “the toxic mental, physical and sexual abuse which started slow but escalated over time, including threats against my life, severe gaslighting and brainwashing, waking up to the man that claimed to love me, raping what he believed to be my unconscious body.”

August 2018: The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office says in a court filing that it has declined to pursue a case against Manson. According to the filing, a police report filed against Manson earlier that year accused him of unspecified sex crimes going back to 2011. In the filing, the district attorney’s office says it has declined to pursue the case because the statute of limitations has expired and due to the “absence of corroboration.” Through his lawyer, Manson “categorically” denies the claims, calling them “completely delusional.”

April 2019: Wood testifies about her experience with domestic violence again, this time before a California Senate panel. Again, she declines to name her alleged abuser. “The fear of being judged by society is debilitating and the fear of retaliation from my abuser is paralyzing,” she says. “I have been diagnosed with complex PTSD, including disassociation, panic attacks, night terrors, agoraphobia, impulse control, chronic pain in my body, among other symptoms.”

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