Is It True Marilyn Manson Lost an Eye?

Rock star Marilyn Manson, whose real name is actually Brian Hugh Warner, has always embraced the mythology of celebrity.

Look no further than his stage name itself — a combination between cult leader Charles Manson and Hollywood icon Marilyn Monroe. Yet many of the most headline-worthy stories about Manson are based more on fiction than on fact, making it hard for his fans to decipher what the star has actually done and what is merely conjecture.

This includes the story of Manson’s drug use and his purported vision loss. 

Manson’s career took off in the early 1990s

Marilyn Manson
Marilyn Manson | Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

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Manson formed his first band, called Marilyn Manson & the Spooky Kids, in the ’80s. But it was the early ’90s that brought the band new levels of fame, especially after they released their first album through the label run by Trent Reznor (of Nine Inch Nails fame).

“It gave Manson his first taste of commercial success, as he gained a cult following after its release,” reports Biography.com. “In 1996, Marilyn Manson hit it big with the release of the group’s second album, Antichrist Superstar. The album, co-produced by Reznor, debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 chart. The following year he released a second EP, Remix & Repent.”

To date, he’s been nominated for multiple Grammy awards, won an MTV Video Music Award for his “The Dope Show” music video, and guest starred on numerous films and TV shows.

Manson has long been a controversial star

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From his stage name to the themes of his albums, Manson is no stranger for controversy. His persona was so controversial, that he was even blamed by the media for the Columbine school shooting massacre.

“He has been called an emissary of Satan and falsely blamed for one of the most notorious shootings in US history,” reports The Guardian.

More recently, Manson’s rumored history of violence has risen in prominence again. In the early 2000s, Manson was “charged with sexual misconduct by a security guard for allegedly performing an offensive act,” explains Biography.com. “Later on the tour, he was hit with a civil suit alleging that Manson rubbed his pelvis on a security guard’s head.”

And in 2021, actress Evan Rachel Wood posted on Instagram and alleged that Manson had “horrifically abused” her.

However, some of Manson’s controversies are unfounded.

Marilyn Manson is rumored to have lost an eye

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According to Rolling Stone, Manson has a long history with drugs. “I experimented with different prescription drugs – morphine sulfate, Percocets, Lorcets,” he’s quoted in the publication, “and shoved sewing needles underneath my fingernails to test my pain threshold because my emotional one had already been crossed.”

These well-publicized experiences have led to a rumor that Manson injected drugs directly into his eye, leading to vision loss, the removal of his eye, and his signature look of having eyes that are two different colors.

It turns out that this story has no grounding in reality.

“One of Manson’s signature looks is his two different colored eyes,” explains Goliath. Of course there have been many explanations for why he looks this way, one of them being he injected heroin directly into his eyeball. No, that didn’t happen. There was also a rumor that he had the pigment removed so that he could see in black and white and since that isn’t how eyes work, that’s not true either.”

Other myths about Manson that aren’t true include stories that Manson kills animals on stage during his performances, and that he had his ribs surgically removed.