Phoenix Rising (2022) s01e01 Episode Script

Phoenix Rising: Don't Fall

- Hm? Just some of my journals.
This is the stuff that makes me cry.
(SOFT CHUCKLE) This is, like, my first boyfriend.
EVAN RACHEL WOOD: This is right before, you know anything had happened.
It's always really hard for me to look at photos of myself from before.
I'm sorry.
Just like nothing had happened yet, you know? ILLMA: Yeah.
EVAN: It's so hard for me to, like ILLMA: Know what's coming? EVAN: Yeah, to know what's coming, and just to, like, relate back to her.
You know, it wasn't until I went back and really started reading my old journals and things that I could understand where I was at, and, yeah, it's sad.
It's just, like I was just lost.
I was just com so lost.
I'm tryin' to look at the date.
ILLMA: How do you even have these journals? I've kept this journal since I was 15.
I kept it for three years, and then, thought I lost it all.
Here we go.
(CHUCKLES) "I made a new friend".
(IMITATES EXPLOSION) SARA: When I look at things, I'm like, this is where we are, and this is how we got here.
And change one little thing, it's the Ray Bradbury story where they step on the butterfly and everything is changed forever.
HOST 1: Please welcome the lovely Evan Rachel Wood, everybody.
(APPLAUSE) MARILYN MANSON: I think it's my job as an artist to be out there pushing people's buttons and making them question everything.
Manson! Manson! HOST 2: Remember when Evan Rachel Wood and Marilyn Manson were a thing? EVAN: He broke me down through means of starvation, sleep deprivation, and threats against my life.
INTERVIEWER: Uh, rumor has it you're a, you're a single lady.
EVAN: Is that the rumor? INTERVIEWER: Confirm? Deny? We got any eye on the prize? What is your biggest fear? Of myself, I guess.
Fear of, uh, losing control.
HOST 3: On-again, off-again couple Marilyn Manson and Evan Rachel Wood have officially ended their relationship.
EVAN: I don't remember what it feels like to not be scared.
I will never be the same.
(TENSE MUSIC PLAYING) I'm here today to talk about Brian Warner also known to the world as Marilyn Manson.
Brian and I were together on and off for about four and a half years, starting mid-2006, when I was 18, till early 2011, when I made my final escape.
A few years after the relationship ended, I became an activist fighting for victims and survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault.
Illma Gore, who is an artist and an activist, worked closely with me to build the Phoenix Act Coalition which is a group of survivors and advocates that work together to organize and pass legislation in as many states as we can.
But I'm still terrified to name Brian publicly.
I want to name him.
It's all I want to do.
I have received a number of threatening messages saying to shut my mouth, people know where I live.
Brian also made it clear that if I ever said anything that he would come after me.
He once told me that he would fuck up my whole family from the bottom up, and he would start with my dad.
I have a child and it's really scary.
Naming Brian without support is too much of a risk.
Here's a picture he took of me.
You can just see how young I am, like I was just a teenager.
ILLMA: How old was he at the time? EVAN: Thirty-seven.
This is when we got our tattoos on Valentine's Day.
I'm so little.
Like, when I look at these pictures, I'm like, "Oh my God! You're like a kid".
ILLMA: You are a kid.
Come here.
We're goin' inside a house to get a broom, sweep those cobwebs out.
- IRA: Okay, let's go.
- Let's go.
IRA: Hey, Evan.
You know the game Dad always plays with you? - The camera chases you? - Mm-hm.
IRA: Let's go.
Dad! Ira! He's gonna get me! My home as a child was nice, but had somewhat of a dark side, I think.
We lived in Cary, North Carolina.
It was a suburb of Raleigh.
Um, really nice little town.
We grew up in a very artistic family of actors, and we did a lot of theater together.
DAVID: I'm the director of Theatre in the Park.
And that's basically where Ira and Evan grew up.
That was their playroom.
Me and Evan started acting really young.
I got my SAG card when I was nine.
I think Evan got hers when she was five or six.
- Just get in the house.
Go on! - No, Daddy, no! You try to get out of there, I swear to God, I'll burn it down with you inside.
Now, come on, sister.
He always says that and he ain't done it yet.
Charlie, you know he'll do it! One of these days he'll do it and I'm afraid! (CRIES) Yuck! Can you believe they did this to my face? DAVID: I remember walking by the performance space and the doors were open one day, I think Evan was about seven.
And she was sitting on stage all by herself and she was making up a monologue.
She was just acting to an empty theater.
And I remember stopping in the doorway and watching, and I knew then she was to the manner born.
She had a talent and a passion for it.
IRA: And I think that because we were actors and we did come from that background, we used our imagination a lot.
Most of the days we were out inventing a world of our own out in the backyard.
I'll turn my sugar plum in here into Well, I'll switch them around on the seat.
One, two, three.
Ring, ring, ring, ring.
Hello? - No! - WOMAN: She what? - What'd they say? - She what?! Oh, Royal Emperor! Yes, I am the Royal Emperor.
What would you like? The King would like to see you.
All right, handmaidens, I'm ready.
Let me have it! Ahh! (ALL LAUGHING) (LAUGHING) It's cold.
SARA: It was always a mixed bag.
Things are going great and you're having fun, or you're doing something, and you feel good about it, and then, something turns.
DAVID: We're goin' to the beach if you and Jackie are through exchanging gas.
Yeah, I was tryin' to find out about your audition for "Road to Wellville".
DAVID: Oh, well, thank you.
I-I'm an adult.
- SARA: Well, I wanted to know - DAVID: Of course.
Well, then, let's be clear on the fact that you wanted to know.
- SARA: (INAUDIBLE) - (DOOR SLAMS) SARA: There was a lot of fighting, a lot of yelling, a lot of tension.
DAVID: I want you to show everybody your room, how clean and nice it is.
IRA: Well, over here we have, um, the usual clean desk.
DAVID: Our house smells to people who come in and don aren't used to the smells.
We'll edit this out later.
SARA: We were kinda walking on eggshells a little bit.
EVAN: There was certainly violence in my home which I witnessed as a very small child.
And it was always like the threat of violence was there.
I remember on one occasion there was a particularly, uh, intense day at the house where my parents were fighting and yelling at each other.
I must've been about four or five, and my brother and I just left.
IRA: Yeah, we went outside just to get away from the fight.
And we could still hear the yelling from outside the house, and then realized no one was looking for us, realized nobody knew that we left.
And we kinda looked at each other, and then, we sat down in the middle of the driveway, and held each other, and started crying.
IRA: And I just said, you know, "We have to always be there for each other.
And I promise that I'll always be there for you".
EVAN: But it's just us.
My parents' marriage really started to fall apart when I was about nine.
When I would see my parents fight like that sometimes I would interject.
One time I actually yelled at them both and was begging them to stop.
And my dad sat me down and said, um, you know, "We fight because we love each other".
- And he said, "This is what people that are in love do".
- " in love do".
And I was like, "Oh my God This is what I'm teaching them.
This is what I'm teaching her".
That yelling and screaming and fighting, and is what people in love do.
And at that point, I was like, "Mm-mm.
We're not doin' this.
We're not doin' this anymore".
EVAN: We didn't leave North Carolina.
We fled North Carolina.
My mother and I got on a plane and went to Los Angeles with, maybe, a suitcase each.
Whoa! And we just never came back.
That completely split up me and my brother.
And so, I was taken from my best friend.
Evan? Evan.
My mom asked me, you know, "Do you wanna come with us or stay with your dad?" Which is a really hard position to be in when you're that age.
And I just decided that if they were leaving, I didn't want my dad to have to be alone.
And so, I said, "Well, I'll stay with Dad 'cause I don't think it's right to leave him by himself".
EVAN: When we left, I saw, you know, another side of my dad which terrified me.
We were getting, um, crazy phone calls and, uh, faxes, so our relationship got really fractured, and I, I really avoided him after that for years, uh, until well after I turned 18.
Mom? It's time for us to go to school.
Mommy? It's the same time as yesterday and the day before that, and the day before that.
My mother and I were very enmeshed 'cause once we moved to L.
together, it was just her and I.
We didn't have a lot of money.
We were, kind of, starting over.
We had a small apartment in the Valley, and we shared a room.
We shared a bed.
I felt invisible a lot of the time.
She was going through so much and I just felt like I had to be there for her.
And I just remember that being a really hard time.
What's that on your shirt? None of your business.
- What is that? - Don't worry about it.
- Let me, let me see that.
- No! What the hell is that? It's a belly button ring! IRA: And that performance is still incredible to me because you're watching a human being being really vulnerable and showing you the all the hurt on the inside.
(CRIES) Don't! Please! IRA: And when you yell cut, that's a really hard thing to shut off.
(CRIES) EVAN: I grew up with this mentality that it was your job to keep going, even when you felt uncomfortable.
Even "Thirteen".
I had to make out with a 23-year-old when I was 14 in front of a room full of people.
And I remember not wanting to do it, but I knew that the character needed to, and so, it didn't matter what Evan wanted.
It just had to be done.
And that set a tone for not good situations as an adult.
My next guest doesn't turn 18 until next month, but she's already a star, having earned a Golden Globe nomination for the film "Thirteen".
- Evan Rachel Wood, everybody.
- (APPLAUSE) SARA: After she did "Thirteen", all of a sudden, there was all this attention.
EVAN: Well, that's when I got branded "the troubled teen".
This is who you go to if you want "the troubled teen", which very quickly evolved into the Little Lolita.
She used to spank me.
She spanked me so hard, that it hurt.
I was offered a string of mature roles.
He was 41 when I was 13.
He told me I was pretty and he made me believe it.
And that's when the machine came in, the industry machine, and saw this image of maturity and ran with it.
But I was still so young.
Even though I was playing these very experienced characters, in my real life, I had no idea who I was yet.
Growing up, I had just been so sheltered and repressed.
I had virtually no sex education.
I was homeschooled, so I missed that in school.
And my mother never spoke to me about anything.
I remember looking at my genitals one day, as a young girl, and thinking, "What is this? I don't even know if this is right".
And having no way to ask anyone.
But I just remember thinking, like, "There's no way that's right".
(LAUGHS) So the day that I realized that there was nothing wrong with my body and this was how it was supposed to be, was when I was walking around my neighborhood when I was 12? And there was an old porno magazine on the side of the road, and I remember, like, kind of, lifting it open with my foot, and looking and seeing other women's vaginas, and going "Oh, thank God! Oh, thank God!" Thank God.
Okay, I'm normal.
I'm normal.
This is fine.
It's exactly Okay, great.
Not only am I normal, but I'm (LAUGHS) I'm more, more than okay.
I was just so in the dark.
(RIBBIT) (LIGHT MELODY PLAYING) And then, even as a teenager, I was so insecure, and I really didn't know how to socialize or talk to people.
And so, I felt really, um, unprepared for the adult world.
I had no core identity but I wanted so desperately to be seen at that point in my life.
And I was also in the closet at this time.
You know, I knew that I was bisexual, but I had no idea how to handle that or deal with it, and I didn't feel safe coming out to either of my parents.
I just remember feeling c just completely lost, looking for a direction to go.
So, I was the perfect candidate for somebody to pop up and say, "Come with me".
Just one of those generic Château Marmont parties in the penthouse like they always have, and everything's relatively normal.
I'm kind of hiding in a corner outside away from everybody because I'm still sort of overwhelmed by these situations.
I'm 18 at the time.
I haven't even been able to legally drink yet or go to a bar.
And this guy knows who she is.
She's the girl from "Thirteen".
So, I'm sitting on the balcony talking to my friends, and out of the corner of my eye, I see this big guy in a sparkly gold jacket with black hair and rings on his fingers.
And he walked past us and just, sort of, over his shoulder, at me, said, "Don't fall".
And I said, "I won't".
And my friends and I looked at each other and we literally said, "Who is this Marilyn Manson wannabe?" Somehow, he entered back into the scene and introduces himself as Manson.
So, he starts talking about the film I did called "Thirteen" saying, "I'm a, I'm a big fan.
I love your work".
And he said "I have a project that I'm working on that I would love to talk to you about, 'Phantasmagoria, ' a movie about Lewis Carroll and his subconscious".
And I said, "Oh, that's really funny because a lot of people say that I remind them of Alice in Wonderland".
He asked, "Can I have a way to contact you?" And I said, "Sure".
I gave him my email address, and he walked away, and I looked at my friends, and I said, "Oh, he said his name was Manson.
That's Marilyn Manson, isn't it?" And they said, "Yeah, that was weird".
(EVAN LAUGHS) So, um, "The guy I met at the Château.
What's interesting about it is I had no intention of becoming romantically involved with him.
At first, I wasn't even really attracted, mainly because it just seemed so improbable.
The thought never crossed my mind.
Even when we flirted, I thought it was just friendly.
I was with someone, he was with someone, and there is a big age difference.
And I should probably mention he's a rock icon.
Just a minor detail.
I wasn't a huge fan of his music, but I liked him and what he stood for.
He shoves a mirror in people's faces, and points out their hypocrisy and stupidity".
Man, you will rue the day.
("ANTICHRIST SUPERSTAR" BY MARILYN MANSON PLAYING) It was my first show ever, Madison Square Garden in '94, and I've been a devoted fan since.
She's not a Catholic anymore.
She has no religion anymore, and that's what's bothering me.
Well, you know, it could be because it was your religion, and maybe it wasn't supposed to be hers.
- MOM: Okay.
- You get it? You know, you gotta (CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) EVAN: A lot of the misfits and underdogs related to him.
All the people that felt unheard, and pushed aside by society, and looked down on.
I think he became, like, the hero and the spokesperson.
MARILYN: I see you all sittin' out there trying your hardest not to be ugly.
And we will no longer be oppressed by the fascism of beauty.
MICHAEL MOORE: After Columbine, it seemed that the entire focus on why the shootings occurred was because the killers listened to Marilyn Manson.
If you were to talk directly to the, to the kids at Columbine or the people in that community, what, what would, what would you say to them if they were here right now? I wouldn't say a single word to 'em.
I would listen to what they have to say, and that's what no one did.
EVAN: "We became good friends really fast, and kept having more and more in common.
Almost to a scary point".
- ILLMA: Right.
- Red flag.
When I met Manson, I was just really excited, and thought, you know, "Man, here's this, like, really cool artist who thinks I'm smart, and thinks I have something to say", and, you know, "sees something in me that nobody else does".
And that felt good.
I was able to have conversations with him about art and about music and about film that I wasn't able to have with people my own age, really.
And so, that definitely boosted my ego and confidence.
And I remember telling my boyfriend, Jamie, about it, and Jamie's red flags were goin' off right away.
But I think because Jamie had been overly jealous in our relationship already, when nothing was going on, I just sort of wrote off his fear and anxiety.
And I made the mistake of telling Brian that we were a bit on shaky ground.
When I sought advice from him, I didn't know that he could possibly be purposely trying to break us up.
You know, she thought he was just a friend.
This is just a friend offering her his wisdom, and his mentorship, and whatever.
I didn't know what being preyed upon was.
I didn't know what being groomed was.
SARA: He has studied this.
He studied how to manipulate people.
He's a predator.
He's a predator.
He groomed her for several months until he crossed the line.
(UNEASY MUSIC PLAYING) EVAN: And I went over to his house to say goodbye because I was about to go film another movie.
So, this was gonna be our last hang for a while.
It was sort of a normal night.
I'd been going over there pretty regularly under the guise of work.
We were supposed to be working on the script for "Phantasmagoria", which never ended up being made.
And that's still sort of the anchor in all of this, is that, "Oh", you know, "we should collaborate.
Then you should help me write the scenes".
So, we did what we normally do: drink absinthe, hang out, talk art, movies, and things like that.
I'm like a teenager in a room with a 37-year-old man drinking absinthe.
It was about time for me to go, and, uh after he put his arm around me, he said, uh, "I'm gonna miss you".
And I said, "I'm gonna miss you, t " And before I could get "too" out of my mouth, he just kissed me.
He just stuck his tongue down my throat.
And I think I was just shocked, honestly.
I had a boyfriend.
He knew I had a boyfriend.
He was married.
I'm 18.
I just remember just, like, everything went white.
And I just didn't know how to respond.
I think I was scared and excited at the same time because it was like getting kissed by a god.
You're supposed to like this.
This guy can have whoever he wants and he's chosen you.
You're special now.
And if I said no, then I was really scared we weren't gonna be friends anymore.
So, I let things go farther then I wish I had.
We did not sleep together that night, but things definitely escalated on the roof.
It ended up with him on top of me.
And then, it was over and I felt really weird, and very icky, and, like, I wasn't even really attracted to him.
That was also the first time a man had ever kissed me.
You know? Aside from what I had done on camera.
Uh like in my real life, I had only dated teenage boys, uh, before that.
So, after this interaction, he starts love bombing me with, "Oh my gosh, you're, like, the first thing that's made me wanna make music.
I'm inspired again.
I wanna make art again.
I can be Marilyn Manson again, and it's all because of you".
"I got a gallery.
I'm writing your scenes today.
I'm singing on my new album.
Quite the muse, you brat".
"The only person that really cares, I mean, believes in me and cares, is you".
"You're my soulmate".
"I'm your vampire".
"I love you".
"I can't love you enough".
"You're too beautiful".
"I don't think I've said that to you because I feel " "You are the blood in my heart".
"I wanna be with you".
"You're amazing".
" turn me upside down".
"I wanna stay with you forever".
"I'm your vampire".
"I can assure you, this love we have is unheard of and more important than life".
"I love you".
"You're so important to me, I wanna kick you".
And Oof.
This is messed up.
(UNEASY MUSIC PLAYING) Scarification and branding was a part of it you know? He carved an "E".
And I carved an "M".
Um, as a way to show ownership and loyalty.
And I carved it right next to my vagina - ILLMA: Mm-hm.
- to show him that I belonged to him.
So, it's January 2007.
I really wanna get that scar removed.
ILLMA: You will, yeah.
- Unfortunately, I think it's evidence because - It is.
I know.
Well, I heard that a lot of I heard that some of the other girls did it, too, so I Yeah.
- Yeah, that and the, and the blood pact.
- Well, it, it was Yeah, drinking blood is, is definitely a thing.
It's so fucked up, um.
And I really started to buy into the whole cult, I think, the Marilyn Manson cult of he is something that is bigger than all of us, and his message is bigger than all of us.
So, in the beginning, it was very much disguised as, "I'm here to empower you and set you free".
You know, "I'm here to show you who you really are".
He just represented all of those things that I wanted to unleash and not be ashamed of.
("YOUR WEIRDNESS" BY KENSICO PLAYING) Your weirdness is so beautiful ♪ Makes me wanna draw your face with my fingertips ♪ He was just one more thing that people were telling me was dangerous and was wrong.
What if this is actually really great and they're all just tryin' to scare me like they have done about everything else.
Here's this cross-dressing artist who has always, in my mind, lived however he's wanted to live, doesn't care what other people think.
This person is-is challenging the status quo, is seemingly very intelligent.
MARILYN: There's two levels to what I do there's the artistic level, which is meant to reach people who are open-minded and enjoy things like music, and then there's, uh, the provocative level that's meant to piss people off.
You do rip pages out of the Bible in your concert.
You do wipe your ass with the American flag.
The point with a Bible or a flag's to say, "It's only as valid as you make it in your heart".
And I want people to think about what they believe.
I want 'em to consider if everything they've been taught, if that's what they wanna believe, or that's what they've been told that they have to believe.
All of this was alluring.
You know, it was androgynous, it was free, it was sexy, it was dangerous, it was smart, it was artistic.
And I thought, "Wow, this is, like, where I wanna be".
When you feel invisible and you think somebody sees you, it's very alluring and you want more.
Baby! Oh my God! I felt like, "Oh, here's somebody that gets me and here's somebody that sees that I don't really fit in here".
I just kinda ended up here, and I felt like he was the same.
Look what I gave to Evan.
IRA: I think she was on set for a movie and she called me and she said, "Hey, I just need to, to tell you something.
It's kinda weird.
I'm kinda dating, uh, Marilyn Manson".
And my initial response to that was, "Isn't there, like, a big age difference?" My mom was concerned.
I think my mom got a hint of danger early on.
SARA: She invited me to meet him.
I think that was, like, in November of that year, and he never showed up.
And then, she's like, "Well, he told me he's signing his divorce papers", you know? And, in my head, I'm sittin' there going, "He's lying.
He's a liar".
(LAUGHS) EVAN: My relationship with my mom got completely severed.
He just immediately, like went for the jugular on that one.
He would fake empathy in the way of like, "I can't believe", you know, "the people around you that are trying to manipulate you and use you, and I have to save you".
Fake empathy in the form of manipulation, trying to isolate me from my friends and family.
♪ My mother really acted like a manager.
She was in control of everything, you know? She was the one that spoke to the agent, she was the one that handled the money.
She was doing everything for me.
And Manson started planting the seeds of, you know, "You guys are too enmeshed.
She's too dependent on you".
I remember him sitting me down and being like, "You need to go and meet with your business manager and ask to see everything".
And I was like, "Okay".
He's like, "Trust me.
I'm gonna be honest with you, you're not gonna like what you see".
So, I went in, and I did that.
Didn't like what I saw.
And, um I think, uh, that solidified him being right.
You know, and that he was like, "See, I told you.
You can't trust your Can't trust your parents".
A lot of things that he did that were abusive started to be disguised as love, and as he was doing it because he cared about me.
He would pretend to be very concerned for my well-being, but it was really just a tactic to get me to not speak to anybody else, and anybody that did care about me, he made sure that he did whatever he could to erase them from my life.
I think he had gathered enough information about me in the beginning.
There were a couple months where we were just friends.
We would just talk, and he would learn things about me, and learn about my family, and learn about my insecurities.
And then once it had crossed into romantic territory, he had all the ammo and he knew what to say to me, and he knew what I was looking for.
And a very big deal on the record was, for me, when, um uh Evan Rachel Wood showed up with, uh, the heart-shaped glasses that are on the poster - for Stanley Kubrick's "Lolita".
MARILYN: I said, "I'm gonna write a song about it".
Don't break, don't break my heart ♪ And I won't break your heart-shaped glasses ♪ Little girl, little girl, you should close your eyes ♪ That blue is getting me high ♪ This is hard for me to talk about the music video.
She was 19.
You know, um we, you know I didn't want her to do it.
Nobody wanted her to do it.
But I think she felt like it was like true romance.
It was cool and it was edgy, and she really liked it, and she really wanted to do it.
Cut to filming the "Heart-Shaped Glasses" music video, um it's nothing like I thought it was going to be.
We're doing things that were not what was pitched to me.
My ex-husband was on a shoot the next day, and somebody on the shoot said to him "Oh my God.
I was on the weirdest shoot last night".
And it was the video.
And he told him that the girl was out of it.
That he was giving her absinthe and whatever else, and he was having her do things that are not in the script, that are not part of the schedule.
They're just things that he decides he wants to do when she cannot consent.
EVAN: We had discussed a simulated sex scene, but once the cameras were rolling, he started penetrating me for real.
I had never agreed to that.
I'm a professional actress.
I've been doing this my whole life.
I've never been on a set that unprofessional in my life, like, up until this day.
It, it, it, it was complete chaos, and I did not feel safe.
No one was looking after me.
It was a really traumatizing experience filming the video.
(EVAN WAILING) ♪ I didn't know how to advocate for myself or know how to say no because I had been conditioned and trained to never talk back, to just soldier through.
I felt disgusting, and like I had done something shameful, and I could tell that the crew was very uncomfortable, and nobody knew what to do.
I was coerced into a commercial sex act under false pretenses.
That's when the first crime was committed against me um, and I was, essentially, raped on camera.
(UNEASY MUSIC PLAYING) Like, two days later or whatever, she came and talked to me about it, and she was shaking.
She couldn't stop shaking.
She was shaking the whole time that she was telling me that everything was okay.
EVAN: Brian was really clear about how I should discuss the video with the press how I was supposed to tell people that we had this great romantic time, and none of that was the truth.
But I was scared to do anything that would upset Brian in any way.
The "Heart-Shaped Glasses" music video was really just the beginning of the violence that would keep escalating over the course of the relationship.
I still hadn't even really identified what had happened to me as domestic violence yet.
I doubted my own reality, or I blamed myself.
It took me a really long time to bust through that.
And tell my truth.
Years later I decided to come forward about my sexual assaults, uh literally, the day after the 2016 election.
And then, I was contacted by Amanda Nguyen and she asked me if I would testify for the Sexual Assault Survivors' Bill of Rights in front of Congress.
My experience with domestic violence was this: a 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.
After I testified, I started hearing from numerous women that had been abused by my abuser because they heard my story and they knew exactly who it was because it the same thing had happened to them.
That's when I realized that I wasn't the only one that this had happened to.
There were also numerous other women on the internet that started sharing their stories, and when I started to read them, I knew that they weren't lying because they were almost word for word my story.
It was like finding out that you had dated a serial killer.
We decided to approach Gloria Allred with our evidence, and she told us that we were outside of the statute of limitations, which was three years.
That was the most.
And that was for a felony crime, and a misdemeanor was only a year.
We had run out of time, and nothing in our evidence could help us.
And that was pretty shocking for us.
We said, "What are our options?" And she said, "Well, you can try to change the law.
You can try to change the statute of limitations".
And that's how the Phoenix Act began.
Illma Gore and I sat down and cracked open the books.
We reached out to other activists working in domestic violence advocacy and to fellow survivors from different communities.
And we built a coalition.
It's funny how I still, like, doodle on my papers.
Like, restraining order, hearts, like, stars and stuff.
- EVAN: Oh, right! These are all the old laws.
- ILLMA: Yeah.
EVAN: So, Michigan, uh, you couldn't cut your hair - without your husband's permission.
- ILLMA: Oh my God, yes! We went through this whole thing, and found a bunch of domestic violence laws - that were still applicable.
- That are still applicable, - even though federal law overrides them, so - Yes.
Michigan, you had to get your husband's permission to cut your hair.
New Mexico, um, you have to get permission to shave.
(CHUCKLES) I mean, it's insane.
- And then, um - I'm never gonna have a husband.
- I'll never be able to shave.
- (CHUCKLES) (INDISTINCT CHATTER) ILLMA: I got a call from Evan saying, "Oh no, I think I started something".
So we started researching how to change the law and the statute of limitations is clearly the problem because, statistically, a lot of victims take seven to 10 years to even recognize that they were a victim of this abuse.
EVAN: When we set out to write the bill, the statute of limitations for reporting domestic violence crimes in California was only one to three years.
We wanted to eliminate the statute of limitations completely, but in working with legislators, we settled on asking to extend the statute to seven to 10 years as a compromise.
And that's how democracy works, you know? Like, you have to be able to find a middle ground.
So, there's There were moments where we had to sacrifice certain things just to keep the bill alive.
ILLMA: I definitely describe myself as an artist and activist.
Evan was in my circle for a long time, where, where we would hang out together, and every time, you know, we would talk, we had the same values on activism and art, in general.
We really opened up about the things that had happened to us, and then, realized that we had a lot more in common - than we, we thought initially.
- ILLMA: Yeah.
I, myself, am a victim, but separate of this specific person.
And so, it feels very similar, even though the situations are incredibly different.
And I think that domestic violence is, actually, way more common than we realize.
If you're a survivor of domestic violence or any type of abuse, how do you not become vindictive? It's very easy to become angry, and be an angry person, and this is often how you become an abuser yourself.
EVAN: Marilyn Manson was born Brian Hugh Warner in Canton, Ohio.
It's my understanding that he suffered a lot of bullying and a lot of abuse at his Christian school.
He was an only child in a seemingly normal American family.
But when I spent time with them, you could tell there was a huge crack in his family.
His father was a Vietnam War vet.
NARRATOR: He didn't care and wasn't around to care.
If I wanted his attention, it was usually given to me with a belt doubled over to make a loud snapping sound when it connected with my back-side.
EVAN: And from what I gathered, his mother battled with mental illness.
NARRATOR: In order to make sure I clung even closer to her side, my mother used to try to convince me that I was more sickly than I was, so she could keep me at home and care for me.
My parents had violent screaming matches because my father suspected her of cheating on him.
You know, he manipulates the truth so often, that it's hard to know really what's real and what's not.
But, there's no doubt in my mind that he was severely abused, um.
And I don't know what happened but, um, something really snapped.
Um, and from what I can tell, he really hates women.
NARRATOR: Suspecting her of cheating, I lost the temper my father had handed down to me, and threw the bottle at her face, opening up a bloody gash over her lip, and scattering cheap perfume and shards of blue glass In altercations that followed, I hit her, spit on her, and tried to choke her.
She never retaliated.
She just cried and I never felt sorry for her.
EVAN: You have a million iPhones on you, do it.
Oh, that sounded so "Machete".
(LAUGHTER) EVAN: A lot of people are abused, and not all of those people go on to abuse other people.
MARILYN: I'm sorry, Ginger, but we have to do this.
EVAN: But some do.
(INDISTINCT CHATTER) And it's the difference between remaining a victim or becoming a survivor.
You either have the resources or the mindset to get help and to face those demons and to want to change Duck.
EVAN: Or you go the other way.
And you stay in the trauma.
You never face it.
You never deal with it.
You internalize it and you take all the pain that you feel and you perpetuate more and more abuse.
Look at me 'cause I'm gonna punch you in the fuckin' teeth.
EVAN: Eventually, you realize that some people do not want help.
Sometimes, the most loving thing that you can do is hold somebody accountable.
We just got mistaken for Jehovah's Witnesses.
FRIEND: It turns out if you wear a suit in Sacramento, you're a Jehovah's Witness.
And the bus is here.
Gonna go walk to pick up the other survivors now.
We all flew to Sacramento and started banging on doors at the Capitol.
(INDISTINCT CHATTER) EVAN: We would just walk into office after office and tell our stories.
COUNCILPERSON: Thank you for sharing your story and thank you for doin' this.
- Of course.
- It's really important.
I'm speaking to you here today with a goal to change the statute of limitations in California from three years to 10 if the evidence meets specific criteria, via a bill called the Phoenix Act.
Senator Skinner and the committee when I was a teenager, I met a man.
I looked up to him in many ways, and felt like we had a special bond, and I had no intention of it turning into something romantic.
When it eventually did, I wasn't sure how to stop it, as he had a certain charisma and power, and I quickly surrendered to his charms.
In the beginning, he treated me like a princess.
It wasn't until much later that I realized everything he had told me was a lie and part of what is called the grooming process.
He'd hidden a terrible drug and alcohol problem from me, he cut me off from my close friends and family one by one by exhibiting rage in some form or another when I was in contact with them.
He had bouts of extreme jealousy, which would often result in him wrecking our home, cornering me in a room, and threatening me.
By the time I realized I was in a bad situation, I felt completely trapped and terrified for my life.
He broke me down through means of starvation, sleep deprivation, and threats against my life, sometimes with deadly weapons, which would result in me having severe panic attacks where I was unable to breathe or stop shaking.
Sometimes, he would not allow me to sleep until I participated in acts of fear, pain, torture, and humiliation, which I felt powerless to stop.
In some of these tapes In which he also videotaped.
In some of these tapes, he can be heard threatening to kill me, threatening my friends, or threatening to kill members of my family.
It's taken years from my life because I was too afraid to tell anyone.
I know that this bill will not affect my case, but I urge you to vote yes on the Phoenix Act to create a cushion for victims to leave their dangerous situations, get the help they need, and come back from their trauma in order to pursue justice.
Thank you for your time and for hearing us today.
- Thank you.
So, now we'll do a roll call.
- Motion is, do you pass EVAN: After I gave my testimony, I kind of blacked out.
I was very out of my body, and so when all the votes came in, I didn't It, it didn't hit me.
I hadn't processed it.
And I remember turning around and I said, "What happened?" And they leaned forward and they said, "It's passed! We passed unanimously".
And then, the wave hit me.
It was the first time that I had felt really heard.
Not only did people hear our stories, but they said, "Yeah, we hear you, and something does need to change.
To have done all this, to tell our stories over and over and over again, and have to relive the trauma over and over and over again it was hard, but I just said, "We're not giving up".
(CRYING) Unfortunately, the bill was rewritten on the floor.
By the time the bill passed the Assembly, the proposed statute of limitations had been cut down from 10 years to three to five years.
That was confusing and difficult but, we still extended the statute of limitations, and we were really happy about that because that had never been done in the state of California.
(CRYING) (LIGHT MUSIC PLAYING) If we can't get justice, we at least need to make sure that this doesn't happen to anybody else.
Manson needs to be held accountable.
But, like, I'm not gonna really be rejoicing.
This isn't about revenge, or, like, "he's a monster", and, like, he needs to be punished and destroyed.
He's already destroyed.
You know, that man is not a man anymore.
He is gone.
NARRATOR: As a child, I had been a weakling, a worm, a follower, a small shadow trying to find a place in an infinite world of light.
In the end, in order to find that place, I had to sacrifice my humanity.
He really hardly spoke about his childhood, or anything to do with his pain, or or anything that may have informed his present.
NARRATOR: In ninth grade, I began feeling more and more isolated, friendless, and sexually frustrated.
I used to sit at my desk in class with a pocketknife, making cuts up and down my forearm.
I promised myself that I would try to close myself off emotionally to the world and trust no one.
I don't know who Brian Warner is, honestly.
I think Brian Warner died a long time ago.
I think he has a lot of different personalities.
Specifically, Marilyn and Manson.
Two very different people.
Brian doesn't really show up.
NARRATOR: That last night in Canton, I knew that Brian Warner was dying.
I was being given a chance to be reborn.
Marilyn Manson was the perfect story protagonist for a frustrated writer like myself.
He was a character who, because of his contempt for the world around him, and, more so, himself, does everything he can to trick people into liking him.
And then, once he wins their confidence, he uses it to destroy them.
At the time, I was reading books about philosophy, hypnosis, criminal psychology, and mass psychology.
Our antics quickly grew from tame to depraved.
I began giving her progressively crueler beatings each show.
We stepped away from his motionless, rainbow body and talked.
Not about how we could help him, but about how we could hurt.
We had all become wretched, exhausted, empty containers.
"Westworld" automatons gone berserk.
I was becoming the cold, emotionally crippled monster I always wanted to be and I wasn't so sure I liked it.
But it was too late.
EVAN: He always said that Hitler was the first rock star because Hitler was stylish, he was well-spoken, and he knew how to manipulate the masses to do what he wanted.
And that's why he had an obsession with him.
Any sort of Nazi paraphernalia or imagery, I thought, was ironic.
I thought his whole spiel was taking the image of, of Nazis and of Hitler and spinning it on its head.
Now, he's got lipstick on, and now, he's a rock star.
You know, and I thought it was a commentary on Nazism, or a commentary on Hitler.
IRA: If he wears a Nazi hat or swastikas, it's because he's pointing out how powerless that thing is, or he's making fun of it.
EVAN: His private art and original paintings included swastikas and Nazi imagery.
I am a born Jew.
My mother is Jewish.
And he would make fun of me for that quite a bit.
And then, throughout the course of our relationship, he started to get multiple swastika tattoos, and Nazi paraphernalia.
At one point, over the side of the bed where I slept, he wrote, "Kill all the Jews" on our bedroom wall.
Things like that are not ironic anymore, you know? At what point are you doing a commentary, and at what point are you just a Nazi? IRA: He's a wolf in wolf's clothing.
He can hide so well.
I think everyone was looking at Marilyn Manson, and they weren't looking at Brian Warner.
REPORTER: The stage became the backdrop for the wild and outrageous dramas that set this band apart from the others.
IRA: It's an all-too-familiar story.
People in the industry, in positions of power, enabled and empowered him because he makes millions for them.
And it's not in their best interest to examine him too closely.
So they all turn a blind eye when he publicly abuses women for an audience.
I made this movie.
It was like a party at my house.
JON FAVREAU: It was a real party and you were taping I said, I said a girl's gonna show up, and then, something's probably gonna go wrong, and you guys just roll with it.
And she comes over, "I just know that you live here, and I, uh, made this a piece of art for you.
Will you take it?" And you're like, "Sure, why don't you come in?" And he pulls this, like She must've been 18, literally.
Less, more? I don't know.
Less?! It better not be less! - Or you're in trouble.
- No, no, no.
She was portraying a youngster.
Then, slowly but surely, and very subtly, he starts to get her to do certain things.
No, but it gets really scary That girl is tied up at the end and crying.
Did you get it distributed? No, because when I showed it to my manager, he said, "Please hide the masters.
If anyone sees this, you'll go to jail and your career'll be over".
What's it called? It was called "Groupie".
Sit still.
- (WOMAN SCREAMING) - Shut up! (LIGHT MUSIC PLAYING) EVAN: I never thought that I would ever see this day, but the authorities are considering pursuing criminal charges against Brian.
They're investigating.
The statute of limitations on my case may have run out, but I want to be as helpful as I can be because I know that I'm not Brian's only victim.
Even though I didn't publicly name him, I've had survivors try to contact me, and, in some cases, they're trying to share what I believe is evidence.
I can't handle their evidence because it would hurt the integrity of the case, but the plan is to just get everything over to law enforcement as soon as possible.
We've heard that Brian is aware people are talking and is very afraid of the survivors organizing.
ILLMA: Something needs to be done now because people are scared.
There's stuff showing up at their houses.
- EVAN: Yeah, they know where people live.
- ILLMA: They get text messages saying that, "I'll kill you".
I think it's time to take action.
I think that we should move spaces 'cause I don't feel comfortable having all these hard drives - from all these people in my house just sitting.
- EVAN: Yeah.
Well, because, statistically, this is the most dangerous time, and, you know, narcissists always make the loudest noise right before they know they're about to lose.
So, yeah, we should move everything.
- ILLMA: Got it? - Mm-hm.
Can I just go through what some of our files are called here? "Drug Use", "Drinking Blood", "Human Trafficking", "Nazism", "Hacking" That's so fucked.
This is a list of red flags to look for in a potential situation - of human trafficking.
- ILLMA: Uh-huh.
Poor physical health, exhibits unexplained injuries, appears malnourished, has been branded, a tattoo.
- (EXHALES) Okay.
- ILLMA: Do you relate to those or something? Yeah, a bit.
- (HARD ROCK MUSIC PLAYING) - (CROWD SHOUTING) The isolation really started when he took me on tour.
So he had me to himself for eight months in his world, and in his world he's God.
(UNEASY MUSIC PLAYING) MARILYN: Hey, thanks for all the feedback.
I fucking appreciate it! Fuck this crowd.
I hate 'em.
And on tour, that was the first time that he was ever violent with me.
He had been having throat problems, and so, a doctor prescribed him liquid Vicodin for his throat, and he drank the whole bottle almost.
And we were on the bus after the show, and he didn't even know where he was.
I started getting scared because he started becoming really violent and throwing things.
And so, I just thought, now, you know, is when the handlers step in and diffuse the situation, and no one did.
We showed up at the hotel, the bus parked, and Manson, um, just grabbed me by my arm and yanked me.
And in front of everybody, he's dragging me by my arm into the hotel and, uh, no one's doing anything.
And he goes in, and he immediately starts wrecking the room, and smashing things, and yelling, and I look back at the crew member like, "You're not just gonna leave me here".
You know, "You gotta help me".
And I remember him starting to slowly close the door, and me going, "No, no, no.
You can't, you can't leave, you can't leave me here".
And this guy, I thought, was my friend, too.
We'd been on tour for a few months at this point.
He just shook his head and closed the door.
And that's when I knew that I wasn't safe.
I can go like this! Fuckin' (GRUNTS) The urgency of stopping him now is great.
He has proven time and again that this is a pattern of behavior and it escalates.
I think he's very particular about who he does this to to get away with it.
They're the ones that he finds on tour or on social media.
They're the fans.
They're the girls that he finds on model websites, and says, "Hey, come be in this video".
And then abuses them, and nobody's gonna care.
So, the urgency is great.
(TENSE MUSIC PLAYING) MARILYN: So I just started thinkin' about my own mental health and what I wanted to say.
The idea of, sometimes, there's things that have happened in the past you have to forget about the who you were, think about who you wanna be.
EVAN: I'm one person against some very powerful people.
To go after the person that assaulted you, takes quite a toll because it costs a lot of money and time, and retraumatizing yourself.
And you have a target on your back.
In many cases, when women come forth with a story about sexual assault, people are very quick to try to discredit them.
I am not ready to go through that and to relive those things and to face these people.
And I want to do it when I have when I'm ready.

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