Though his music career hasn’t yielded much in the way of top ten hits, there was a time when no rock star on the planet was more famous than Marilyn Manson.
For teenagers in the 1990s, Manson was almost as notorious as his namesake was in the ’60s.
Some worshipped the shock rocker, others feared him, and just about everyone’s parents regarded him with intense suspicion.
These days, of course, the evangelical watchdog groups who warned parents about the dangers of Manson’s music are probably reveling in the singer’s cancelation.
But as it turns out, it wasn’t his lyrics that were dangerous — it was his behavior off stage.
Earlier this month, actress Evan Rachel Wood accused Manson of abusing her both physically and emotionally during their relationship.
Wood began dating Manson in 2005, when he was 36, and she was just 18.
Their relationship quickly took a turn for the worse, and many fans weren’t terribly surprised when the Westworld star revealed that the abuser she’d been referencing anonymously for years was, in fact, Manson.
In the wake of Wood’s recent revelation, four other women came forward to accuse Manson of misconduct that ranged from threats to stalking to physical abuse.
Sadly, this narrative is not an unfamiliar one in Hollywood, but in at least one significant way, Manson’s story is different from the predators who came before him:
Unlike the other abusers, Manson has been showing his true colors to the world and revealing the very worst of his behavior for years.
In interviews and memoirs that are only now resurfacing, Manson tried constantly to shock his fans and critics with his most depraved behavior.
Perhaps those who were aware of Manson’s confessions thought that he was joking.
Or maybe he escaped further scrutiny because it was “a different time” when he made his admissions.
Whatever the case, it hasn’t been difficult to uncover the truth about Manson in the weeks since Wood identified him.
In his own memoir, for example, Manson admitted to calling Wood 158 times on Christmas Day of 2008, when the two of them broke up for the first time.
Manson says that after each call, he would take “a razor blade and I cut myself on my face or on my hands . . . I wanted to show her the pain she put me through.”
“I have fantasies every day about smashing her skull in with a sledgehammer,” he added.
Sadly, it seems that Wood was not Manson’s first victim.
In 1997 he dated adult film star Jenna Jameson, who detailed their time together — and her reasons for ending the relationship — in a recent interview with the Daily Mail.
“We didn’t go out long because I cut it off after he would nonchalantly say he fantasized about burning me alive,” she told the outlet.
“Once he started speaking to me violently, I was like … goodbye, Brian,” Jameson added, using the singer’s real first name.
“Also the bruises from him biting me weren’t fun,” she continued.
“Sexually he liked to bite, and it was disconcerting.”
But as horrific as the allegations against Manson are, the 52-year-old has been his own worst enemy for decades, offering up unsolicited incriminating information, seemingly in the hope of getting a rise out of his audience.
Take the time he read a letter from onstage, written to him by an angry ex-lover who accused him of being an alcoholic mess.
Or the 2015 Rolling Stone interview, in which he revealed that he and Johnny Depp tried unsuccessfully to buy the gun Hitler killed himself with as part of their shared Nazi obsession.
Marilyn Manson has been telling us how awful he is for years.
Maybe now, we’ll finally pay attention.