Rose McGowan on Monday applauded fellow actor Evan Rachel Wood and the other women who have come forward with abuse allegations against rocker Marilyn Manson, whom McGowan was engaged to 20 years ago.
McGowan, a prominent Me Too activist, said in a video posted to Instagram that she did not experience abuse during her three-year relationship with Manson, but believed the women who said they did. She was engaged to the shock rocker for two years before they split in 2001.
“I am profoundly sad today and disgusted, but I am mostly proud ― proud of Evan Rachel Wood and the others who have come forward against Marilyn Manson, my ex,” McGowan said in the video. “When he was with me, he was not like that. But that has no bearing on whether he was like that with others, before or after.”
“It takes time to come forward, and again I am proud, proud of these women and anybody who stands against an abuser,” she continued. “They steal time. ... They steal lives, hopes, dreams, freedom, sexuality, love.”
Manson has denied the allegations, calling them “horrible distortions of reality.”
McGowan, best known for her roles in the ’90s horror movie “Scream” and the TV series “Charmed,” has been one of the leading voices in the Me Too movement against sexual harassment and assault since 2017. She was one of the first to publicly accuse disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault. She received a $100,000 settlement from Weinstein in 1997 over the incident, which she has described on Twitter as “rape.”
In her Instagram post Monday, McGowan accused “Hollywood cult leaders” ― specifically PR agents, lawyers and agents ― who “employed” Manson and “sanctioned” his behavior of being accomplices of his alleged abuse.
“When I say Hollywood is a cult, I mean the Entertainment industry including the music industry is a cult,” McGowan wrote in the caption of her Instagram video. “Cult’s [sic] protect the rot at the top. Theirs is a sickness that must be stopped. The industrial fame complex chooses who they protect & who they’ll let be their victims. For profit.”
Manson’s record label, Loma Vista Recordings, dropped him in response to the allegations Monday, stating it would neither promote his new album nor work with him in the future.
In a 2001 interview with radio host Howard Stern, McGowan said she ended her relationship with Manson because she wasn’t comfortable with his “lifestyle” and suggested his drug abuse was partly to blame. (Manson has openly discussed his past drug use as well as a short stint in rehab.)
Manson trashed McGowan in a subsequent interview with Stern in 2003, bashing her acting chops and claiming he broke it off with her. During the interview, Stern said Manson once told him he’d “let” Stern have sex with McGowan, whom Manson was dating at the time.
“Yeah, I was just trying to pawn her off with the highest bidder,” Manson said.
One of the women who spoke out against Manson on Monday ― identified on social media as Ashley Walters ― alleged he had offered her up for “sexual encounters” to his potential collaborators and friends.
“He isolated me from my friends and family,” Walters wrote, adding: “Many nights, I feared for my safety or the safety of others.”
Need help? In Australia, call 1800 RESPECT (737 732) for the National Sexual Assault, Domestic Family Violence Counselling Service.
In the US, call 1-866-331-9474 or text “loveis” to 22522 for the National Dating Abuse Helpline.
Never miss a thing. Sign up to HuffPost Australia’s weekly newsletter for the latest news, exclusives and guides to achieving the good life.