Evan Rachel Wood responds to criticism for not leaving Marilyn Manson

Evan Rachel Wood is responding to criticism over why she didn't leave Marilyn Manson.

The actress, who documents her alleged abuse by the shock rocker in the documentary Phoenix Rising, called out victim blamers in a post on social media.

"When you ask, 'Why didn't you just leave if it was so bad?,' you literally demonstrate one of the reasons victims don't leave," Wood wrote. "They blame themselves."

She continued, "When you defend someone that has been outed by dozens of men and women for being abusive, you also demonstrate how one can be stuck in the cycle of abuse. You lie to yourself. You lie to yourself because the truth is too painful."

HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 05:  Evan Rachel Wood arrives for the Premiere Of HBO's
Evan Rachel Wood is responding to criticism for not leaving Marilyn Manson. (Photo: Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images) (Albert L. Ortega via Getty Images)

Wood wrote that "not only can you not face what it means about the person you love, but you can't face what it may mean about you."

She concluded her post by writing, "When you blame victims, you prove our point."

Phoenix Rising, now streaming on HBO Max, is a two-part documentary, directed by Amy Berg, about Wood's experience as domestic violence survivor. The Westworld actress, who started dating Manson in 2007 when she was 19 and he was 38 and ended their engagement in 2010, publicly revealed that she was in an abusive relationship, without naming her abuser, and co-authored and lobbied for passage of The Phoenix Act, legislation that extends the statute of limitations for domestic violence cases in California.

Marilyn Manson attends the Vanity Fair Oscar party in Beverly Hills during the 92nd Academy Awards, in Los Angeles, California, U.S., February 9, 2020.    REUTERS/Danny Moloshok
Marilyn Manson has denied the allegations against him by Wood and others. (Photo: REUTERS/Danny Moloshok) (Danny Moloshok / reuters)

In February 2021, Wood publicly named Brian Warner, Marilyn Manson's real name, as her abuser. Others connected to Manson made accusations as well. He has denied the allegations — and is suing Wood over defamation. Since he was named, Manson was dropped by his record label, manager and CAA, and lost a role in TV's American Gods.

Among the claims in Phoenix Rising was Wood saying that Manson raped her while making the music video for his 2007 song "Heart-Shaped Glasses (When the Heart Guides the Hand)." That was also denied by Manson. However, fans have since been trying to get the song removed from YouTube.