Everything We Learned From The Explosive New Marilyn Manson Report

A new report from Rolling Stone alleges years of abuse, torture and harassment.

Marilyn Manson

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Marilyn Manson — real name Brian Warner — was once one of the most powerful men in alternative music. Now, Rolling Stone profile of the singer alleges that he used that power to abuse and assault multiple women, a pattern of vicious behaviour that went un-remarked upon by the mainstream press for years.

— Content Warning: This story contains graphic descriptions of sexual assault and abuse. — 

The story, titled ‘The Monster Hiding In Plain Sight’, recounts a range of illegal activities reportedly conducted by Warner. Featuring interviews with his alleged victims, as well as those who knew Warner best, the profile paints a picture of an unrepentant abuser, who used his stardom to hurt and harass a number of victims within his inner circle.

It is a shocking read, one that reveals just how much work went into covering up Warner’s alleged abuse, and sketches a damning portrait of the music industry at large. Here are the key takeaways.

Marilyn Manson Had A “Torture Booth” In His Apartment

The profile opens with a discussion of what Warner called his “Bad Girls’ Room”, a soundproof booth in which he allegedly trapped and tortured a number of his victims. According to the story, Warner “frequently banished his girlfriends there, keeping them inside for hours on end to punish them for the tiniest perceived transgressions.” It was a form of solitary confinement, a way of isolating his partners from the outside world.

Moreover, the booth was something of an “open secret” — Warner even discussed it in the press. “If anyone’s bad, I can lock them in it, and it’s soundproof,” the singer reportedly once told a journalist.

Manson Allegedly Physically And Sexually Abused A Number Of Women

According to the profile, Warner was a controlling, obsessive figure, one who subjected his partners to a routine of harassment and torture. According to Game of Thrones actress Esmé Bianco, one of the singer’s victims, Warner took total control of her life, depriving her of “sleep and food” and frequently enacted punishments on her body, including biting her, cutting her, and electrocuting her. Once, Biano alleges, Warner even chased her around the house with an axe, threatening her life.

When these alleged victims attempted to free themselves from Warner and his routine of torture, they say that he threatened to commit suicide, or to kill them and their family. “They describe him as employing a cult-leader mentality that allowed him to hold complete power over them,” the profile reads.

Another of Warner’s alleged victims claim that he bit her, and tortured her with a whip that he claimed was used by the Nazis. After the alleged assault, Warner said that he could “get away” with murdering his victim, because she was a “nobody.”

Manson’s Victims Allege That The Media Played A Part In Normalizing His Behaviour

For years, Warner peddled in misogynistic and cruel imagery, locking women in cages as part of his live show, and constructing what he called a “family” of young admirers, drawn to his darkness and controversy. According to his victims, the media’s embracing of these violent images enabled him to “abuse behind the scenes — and sometimes in plain sight — without scrutiny.”

Certainly, Warner was open about his transgressions — after his break-up with actress Evan Rachel Wood, he publicly discussed his desire to “[smash] her skull in with a sledgehammer”. He also frequently came into legal trouble over incidents of violence and sexual harassment. For instance, Warner once told Spin editor Craig Marks that he would kill him and his whole family, an incident that spawned a legal complaint, and was eventually settled out of court.

In 2001, a few years later, Warner faced criminal charges after “grinding his crotch” against a security guard at a festival. That lawsuit was also settled out of court.

Marilyn Manson Continues To Deny The Allegations

Warner, via an attorney, has spoken out against the allegations, “vehemently” denying any and all claims of  “sexual assault or abuse of anyone.”

Arguing that the testimonies of the alleged victims are deliberate attempts to play on his “shock rock” persona, the attorney’s statement calls the testimonies “part of a coordinated attack by former partners and associates of Mr. Warner who have weaponized the otherwise mundane details of his personal life and their consensual relationships.”