The Dark Life of Marilyn Manson: From ‘rape rooms’ to assaulting a deaf groupie, why were red flags ignored?
There is a reason why when you search for the ‘Top 10 controversial singers of all time’, Marilyn Manson’s name tops the list. A songwriter, record producer, actor, painter, and writer — Manson has donned many hats over the years and sadly, the rock musician tag seems to have been pushed down the line.
The ‘Man That You Fear’ singer has been a magnet to all controversies since the very beginning of his rollercoaster career, but the world shut its eyes and only saw what Manson wanted them to see. Now that several actresses have come together to accuse Marilyn Manson of sexual abuse and assault, here's looking back at those times when Manson openly discredited everything that rock music stands for.
Did his ardent fans and music listeners avoid those telling signs? Seems likely.
From inviting a deaf groupie and asking her to strip naked to being arrested for gyrating his manhood against a security guard’s head, Manson’s scandals are nothing new.
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Marilyn Manson = Marilyn Monroe + Charles Manson
Born Brian Hugh Warner, he chose his alter-ego by fusing the names of America’s most famous sex symbol — Marilyn Monroe, and Charles Manson, the charismatic sociopath whose followers were responsible, most infamously, for the murder of Roman Polanski's wife Sharon Tate. The actress was nine-months pregnant at the time of her brutal killing.
Marilyn Manson’s grew up in Canton, Ohio, a city pre-disposed to giving art the stink-eye, that really helped Marilyn achieve his dreams of becoming a singer who would one day make headlines for all the wrong reasons.
Was his father a ‘mass murderer’?
Marilyn refers to his father as a “mass murderer” who fought in Vietnam before he was born. According to Marilyn, his father was “very, very good at what he did” and even compared him to Martin Sheen’s character from Francis Ford Coppola's ‘Apocalypse Now’.
Marilyn said during one of his interviews that his mother “would even call me his [Marilyn’s father] name. And you’re full of testosterone and pissed off, and you don’t want to be called your dad’s name, especially when you don’t even know where the fuck he is.”
A compulsive narcissist?
Manson’s debut album ‘Portrait of an American Family’ was released in 1994, and it definitely carved a path for his creativity that no one had imagined before. We have all been pretty familiar with the graveyard grooms of other singers like Ozzy Osbourne and Alice Cooper, but Marilyn put his own special twist on things — with more theatrical elements of punk, industrial, and shades of anti-religion, Marilyn’s personal life somehow affected everyone.
“The first article I ever did,” he once said, “was about Marilyn Manson, which I wrote as Brian Warner, and that was in part why I had to have a pseudonym, a stage name. I was put in a situation where I was suddenly stuck with… where I had created a Frankenstein’s monster. There was Marilyn Manson, but there was no music yet. I created a fake world, maybe because I didn’t like the one I was living in. But that’s what made me make music. I had to fill in the gaps I’d created.”
Evan Rachel Woods controversy: Why now?
Evan Rachel Woods and others have come forward with claims against Marilyn Manson. She alleged that the person she previously accused of sexually assaulting her a decade ago was Brian Warner, aka Marilyn Manson. “He started grooming me when I was a teenager and horrifically abused me for years,” Wood wrote on Instagram. “I was brainwashed and manipulated into submission.”
Marilyn Manson, who was once touted as ‘America’s true son’, has categorically denied all these allegations. “My intimate relationships have always been entirely consensual with like-minded partners. Regardless of how – and why – others are now choosing to misrepresent the past, that is the truth,” Marilyn said.
‘I took a razor blade and I cut myself’
There were early signs of his troubled relationship with Rachel Wood. During one of his interviews, he stated that he once called her 158 times in a single day, and he cut himself after each call. If that was not enough, he even fantasized about smashing her skull in with a sledgehammer.
“I made the mistake of trying to, desperately, grasp on and save that and own it. And every time I called her that day – I called 158 times – I took a razor blade and I cut myself on my face or on my hands. I look back, and it was a really stupid thing to do. This was intentional, this was scarification, and this was like a tattoo. I wanted to show her the pain she put me through. It sounds made up, but it’s completely true, and I don’t give a shit if people believe it or not. I’ve got the scars to prove it.”
Fantasies of ‘smashing her skull with a sledgehammer’
At the time, Marilyn added: “I have fantasies every day about smashing her skull in with a sledgehammer.”
Marilyn’s UK PR representative refuted Marilyn’s statement and added that the singer had been acting in character when he talked about smashing her skull in with a sledgehammer. The controversies were not limited to him calling Evan 158 times or referring to his father as a “mass murderer”. In one way or the other, Marilyn has created a persona that is troubling as it is intriguing.
Masturbating with a strap-on dildo and urinating on the crowd
There are several shocking incidents in Marilyn’s life that hinted of a troubled mind. In 1994 he was arrested at a concert in Jacksonville, Flordia, for what he later described as “jacking off with a strap-on dildo and urinating on the crowd”. The very same year he asked a deaf fan to strip naked and then decorated her with hot dogs, salami, and pig’s feet, and reportedly took photos.
In 2001, he was arrested after jumping on a security guard and sexually assaulting him by gyrating his manhood against his head.
‘Fascism called Christianity’
At one time he told a live audience and viewers at MTV VMA Awards in 1997 that “we will no longer be oppressed by the fascism called Christianity”. Off-stage Marilyn's behavior was equally loaded with shock-factor: Right from becoming a minister in the Church of Satan to boasting of smoking human bones after a grave-robbery.
‘24-hour coke and booze binge’ with Johnny Depp
In another interview, he shocked everyone when he spoke about becoming a father. He stated that he wouldn't “mind passing my demented genius on to small thing who can set fire and breathe profanity”. He is the godfather to Lily-Rose Depp — Johnny Depp's daughter. If reports are to be believed, Depp once went on a “24-hour coke and booze binge” with Marilyn Manson after dropping Lily-Rose off at school.
‘I gave her her first set of high heels’
“I’m the godfather to Johnny Depp’s daughter. He’s my best friend, and I gave her her first set of high heels. Unfortunately, she was in diapers when I gave them to her. It was awkward when I saw her 14 years later, and Johnny’s like, ‘Hey, this is Uncle Manson. He gave you your first pair of high heels and changed your diaper’. That sounds really bad. But it was amazing,” Marilyn said.
Marilyn Manson's ‘rape room’
Acclaimed musician Phoebe Bridges came forward with a startling revelation after Evan Rachel Woods's allegations made headlines. According to Bridges, she once went to Marilyn's house with some friends and he reportedly showed her his “rape room”.
TW:— traitor joe (@phoebe_bridgers) February 4, 2021
I went to Marilyn Manson’s house when I was a teenager with some friends. I was a big fan. He referred to a room in his house as the “r*pe room”, I thought it was just his horrible frat boy sense of humor. I stopped being a fan.
I stand with everyone who came forward.
“I went to Marilyn Manson’s house when I was a teenager with some friends,” the 26-year-old tweeted. “I was a big fan. He referred to a room in his house as the 'rape room', I thought it was just his horrible frat-boy sense of humor. I stopped being a fan.”
With Amber Heard coming out in support of Woods, it is a question now for the entire entertainment industry to try and answer: How much did people know and why were they all silent till now? With all these controversial interviews, onstage actions, and shocking offstage activities, it's quite a mystery how fans and the media missed the parade of red flags that seem to decorate the mind of Marilyn Manson.