Evan Rachel Wood continues to demand justice for sexual assault survivors.
Though the Westworld actress was successful in advocating for the passage of the Phoenix Act in California, she remains dedicated to bringing attention to the obstacles that she and other abuse survivors face. In the trailer for the HBO documentary Rising Phoenix, released Tuesday, Feb. 22, she states, "We need to make sure this doesn't happen to anybody else."
In addition to detailing her legislative efforts, the cameras follow Wood as she connects with other individuals who accused Marilyn Manson, née Brian Warner, of sexual assault. But when the women met each other, they realized they were "outside of the statute of limitations, we had run out of time and nothing in our evidence could help us." So, they decided to change the laws that prevented them from seeking justice.
Wood ended up testifying in front of the California legislature about the alleged abuse she faced. As a result of her testimony, as well as that of experts, the California legislature passed the Phoenix Act in 2019. This bill extends the amount of time survivors have to press charges against their abuser.
In speaking out about her alleged experience, Wood says she was able to begin healing. "I realized that this is the first time I haven't been doubted or questioned or shamed," she shares in the trailer. "This is the first time that someone was really listening. I was like, 'What is this feeling?'"
Rising Phoenix made headlines when it premiered at the Sundance Film Festival on Jan. 23. In the documentary, Wood alleges that Manson "essentially raped" her when they filmed the "Heart-Shaped Glasses" music video together in 2007.
In response to the accusations, Manson's lawyer Howard King said in a statement to E! News that the rocker "did not have sex with Evan on that set, and she knows that is the truth."
"Of all the false claims that Evan Rachel Wood has made about Brian Warner, her imaginative retelling of the making of the 'Heart-Shaped Glasses' music video 15 years ago is the most brazen and easiest to disprove, because there were multiple witnesses," his lawyer continued. "The simulated sex scene took several hours to shoot with multiple takes using different angles and several long breaks in between camera setups."
King further asserted that Wood was "heavily involved" in the pre-production, planning and editing process of the video.
Wood also notes in the documentary that she knew there was going to be a simulated sex scene, but she was afraid to voice concerns. "We had discussed a simulated sex scene, but once the cameras were rolling, he started penetrating me for real," she alleged. "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 up until this day."
Looking back, Wood says, "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."
Phoenix Rising: Don't Fall, the first part of the docuseries, premieres on HBO Tuesday, March 15 at 9 p.m. The second part, titled Phoenix Rising: Stand Up, debuts the following day at 9 p.m. Both parts will be available for streaming on HBO Max Tuesday, Feb. 15.