Warning: This post contains descriptions of sexual violence.
Over the past few weeks, over a dozen women have come out with allegations of sexual, physical, and emotional abuse against Marilyn Manson, including Evan Rachel Wood, Sarah McNeilly, and Ashley Walters, all of whom describe being manipulated and frightened into submission and suffering PTSD symptoms years later. Now, Game of Thrones star Esmé Bianco is adding her own harrowing account to the allegations stacking up against the singer, born Brian Warner, claiming their relationship evolved from her being a young starstruck fan to her packing a bag and fleeing from his home while he slept.
In 2018, Bianco worked with Wood to extend the statue of limitations for domestic violence crimes under the Phoenix Act. Both actresses emotionally shared their stories of domestic abuse, but neither named their abuser as Manson until several years later. For Bianco, there’s now a pride in blasting his identity to the world — but the fear remains too.
“It’s a massive relief but at the same time, it’s terrifying. I’m still scared of him. I’m still scared of retaliation,” Bianco said on Good Morning America. “I think it comes from thinking about other survivors, perhaps I can give strength to another survivor.”
Manson has denied allegations against him, calling them “horrible distortions of reality” from what were actually consensual relationships. But Bianco’s allegations paint a similar picture to those of the other women who have come forward. She was a big fan as a teenager, she tells The Cut, and when she had the chance to meet him through then-wife Dita Von Teese, she was ecstatic. When he wanted to fly her from London to be in his music video, even better. But things were off from the start.
“She spent the next three days in lingerie, barely sleeping or eating, with Manson serving up cocaine rather than food,” The Cut reports. “She remembers him losing his temper and throwing the camera at a smoke alarm. Soon, she says, he became violent, tying her with cables to a prayer kneeler, lashing her with a whip, and using an electric sex toy called a Violet Wand on her wounds — the same kind of ‘torture device’ Wood has said was used on her. Bianco was terrified but tried to calm down by telling herself, It’s just Manson being theatrical. We are going to make great art.“
“While waiting for her flight back home, Bianco sobbed,” the report adds — but she says that she wanted so badly to believe that what had happened between them was a consensual BDSM encounter, and that her wounds were a sign of their bond to one another, that breaking off contact with him felt painful. And so the relationship continued, culminating with her moving into the singer’s home in 2011.
“He dictated what she could wear (she says he preferred her in a short pencil dress with stockings), her sleep schedule…and when she could come and go from the apartment (she says she didn’t have a key),” the report continues. “‘I basically felt like a prisoner. I came and went at his pleasure. Who I spoke to was completely controlled by him. I called my family hiding in the closet.'”
Visitors to Manson’s house at the time corroborate Bianco’s reports. According to former assistant Ashley Walters, “the singer’s room contained a closet-size glass-walled space he called the ‘bad girl’s room,’ that Manson could lock from the outside.”
“No one challenged Manson, since he could easily become angry and might start breaking things,” Walters further reported. “‘Everybody was dehumanized. Everyone was constantly walking on eggshells.'”
Bianca has entered into therapy for her PTSD and continues to struggle with the aftereffects of those terrorized days and nights she allegedly spent under Manson’s control.
“Once, [Bianca] remembers, he repeatedly cut her torso with a knife,” the report includes. “He sent a photo of her cuts to Walters and one of his bandmates at the time, with the subject line ‘See what happens?'”
“He’s told the world time and time again, ‘This is who I am,'” Bianca says now.
We have to start paying attention.
If you or someone you know has been the victim of sexual assault, harassment or violence, you can get help. To speak with someone who is trained to help with these situations, call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800.656.HOPE (4673) or chat online at online.rainn.org.
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