Westworld’s Evan Rachel Wood was just 18 years old when she met a married, 35-year-old Marilyn Manson at a West Hollywood party. What followed was a risque affair and controversial on and off again relationship that lasted for four years. The couple even got engaged in 2010 after Manson proposed on stage in Paris. Despite the controversial nature of their relationship — and the often criticized almost 18 year age gap — Wood has no regrets about dating the rock star.
In an interview with Rolling Stone, the actress opened up about her relationship with Manson, who was married to Dita Von Teese when they began dating.
“I met somebody that promised freedom and expression and no judgments,” she said. “And I was craving danger and excitement. I looked at my mother one day and said, ‘Mom, I’m gonna get on this tour bus for eight months and see the world and have a crazy journey and find myself, and if people aren’t OK with that, I’m sorry, but I can’t live my life for other people.”
Wood received a lot of backlash for dating Manson. She was labeled a homewrecker, but she thinks the backlash only made her stronger.
“Most teenagers are searching for identity, and I was thrown into a situation where I was supposed to have that already figured out,” she said. “Then you’re demonized for figuring it out and getting messy. People would call me a whore when I walked down the street, and you can’t not be hurt by that.”
Wood has no regrets. In 2015, she told Net-a-Porter’s The EDIT that she deeply values her relationship with Manson, even if it didn’t work out.
“I wouldn’t trade any of [our relationship]. I appreciate everything he taught me. I just don’t think we were right for each other,” she said.