Actress Evan Rachel Wood on Wednesday testified in favor of a domestic violence bill nicknamed “Jennifer’s Law,” for Connecticut mom Jennifer Dulos, who disappeared in 2019 amid a contentious divorce with her husband.
The “Westworld” star voiced her support for the state senate bill, which would expand the definition of domestic violence in Connecticut to include “coercive or controlling behavior.”
“When I was a teenager, I was groomed into an abusive relationship with a man almost 20 years my senior,” Wood said during a virtual session of the state legislature’s judiciary committee.
While Wood, 33, did not name her alleged abuser during the hearing, she recently accused singer Marilyn Manson of brainwashing and manipulating her when they dated.
“The name of my abuser is Brian Warner,” she wrote on Instagram last month. “Also known to the world as Marilyn Manson. He started grooming me when I was a teenager and horrifically abused me for years.”
She and the goth singer began a relationship when she was a teen and he was in his 30s and were briefly engaged before calling it quits in 2010.
Other accusers later came forward and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department confirmed it was investigating Manson, now 52, over allegations of domestic violence. He has denied the charges.
During the hearing, Wood described how her alleged abuser was “nice and charming” when they first began dating, calling her his soulmate and suggesting they move in together.
But “the longer we were together the more he slowly chipped away at my freedoms.”
“He had trapped me before he ever became physically abusive,” she said.
Wood said her ex would control when she ate and slept, resulting in her going without either for days at a time. He also isolated her from friends and family and hacked into her phone and social media so she couldn’t ask for help, she said.
“He used coercion to take photos and videos of my naked body and at times threatened to release them publicly without my consent,” Wood testified.
The actress said she was also drugged and sexually assaulted by her former partner and “threatened into doing things that would be videotaped and photographed.”
“I was terrified of him and what he could do,” Wood said. “And then he had leverage on me, so if I wanted to leave, he would threaten to release things and tell people.”
Wood said that if she’d been educated about coercive control, she may have been able to “spot the signs” of what was being done to her and “would have been aware of my civil liberties being slowly stripped away.”
“These things didn’t happen to me all at once,” she said, “but once they were in place I had been successfully trapped and the sexual and physical abuse became severe.”