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The Year in Rock 2021: Marilyn Manson accused of abuse

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Allegations of abuse against Marylin Manson dominated rock music news headlines in 2021.

In February, Manson’s ex-fiancée, Evan Rachel Wood, who had spoken previously about being sexually and physically abused by an unnamed perpetrator, publicly named the shock rocker, born Brian Warner, as her abuser.

“[Warner] started grooming me when I was a teenager and horrifically abused me for years,” Wood wrote. “I am here to expose this dangerous man and call out the many industries that have enabled him, before he ruins any more lives. I stand with the many victims who will no longer be silent.”

Warner responded with a statement that did not mention Wood’s allegations specifically, only that “recent claims about me are horrible distortions of reality.”

Following Wood’s post, more women came forward with accusations of sexual, physical and mental abuse against Warner, including actor Esmé Bianco, model Ashley Morgan Smithline, and Warner’s former assistant, Ashley Walters, all of whom filed lawsuits against him. Through lawyers, Warner has denied the allegations.

Warner has mostly stayed out of the public eye amid the allegations, save for an appearance at a listening event for rapper Kanye West‘s latest album, Donda. Having co-written a song on Album of the Year-nominated Donda, Warner would receive a Grammy should it win the award at next year’s ceremony. Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason Jr. addressed the controversial nomination in a statement to The Wrap, declaring, “We won’t look back at people’s history, we won’t look at their criminal record.”

For anyone affected by abuse and needing support, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233, or if you’re unable to speak safely, you can log onto thehotline.org or text LOVEIS to 1-866-331-9474.

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