The picture is a chronicle of the ways Wood alleges Warner abused her sexually and controlled her; it also follows her as she advocates for the Phoenix Act, a 2019 law that extended the statute of limitations for sexual abuse survivors in California. The two-part documentary will be available to stream in full on HBO Max March 15.
The Phoenix Rising trailer opens with Wood looking at photos “from before” she met Warner, after which she reads from a diary recounting the day they actually met. “I made a new friend,” she says, before making the sound of a bomb exploding.
In the clip, Wood’s mother and brother claim Warner groomed the young actress and implied that Warner hid a darker side of himself beneath his Marilyn Manson persona. It also shows Wood meeting with some of the other women who have come forward with allegations of sexual abuse against Warner. (Warner has denied all allegations of abuse.)
“We need to make sure that this doesn’t happen to anybody else,” Wood says. And then, in the next scene, as she hugs people on the porch of a house, she adds, “I realize that this is the first time I haven’t been doubted or questioned or shamed. This is the first time that someone was really listening. And I was like, ‘What is this feeling?’ And it’s this feeling of being believed.”
The first part of Phoenix Rising premiered at Sundance in January. One of the revelations that came from the screening was Wood’s claim that Warner had “essentially raped” her on camera during the filming of his “Heart-Shaped Glasses” music video. “I was coerced into a commercial sex act under false pretenses,” she alleged in the film. “That’s when the first crime was committed against me.” She was 19 at the time, while he was twice her age.
Wood first came forward with allegations of abuse against Warner on Feb. 1, 2021, following years of speculation. “He started grooming me when I was a teenager and horrifically abused me for years,” she wrote on Instagram. “I was brainwashed and manipulated into submission. I am done living in fear of retaliation, slander, or blackmail. I am here to expose this dangerous man and call out the many industries that have enabled him, before he ruins any more lives.” More than a dozen women subsequently came forward with similar claims against Warner. Four have filed civil lawsuits.
Late last year, some of the women, including Game of Thrones actress Esme Bianco and model Ashley Morgan Smithline, spoke with Rolling Stone for an exposé about Warner. The women each detailed allegations of sexual, physical, and psychological abuse against the musician. “I really just have to hold onto the fact that if nobody speaks up, then nothing changes,” Bianco said.