Rock Romance Shocker: Manson and McGowan Split

ByABC News
January 18, 2001, 7:20 PM

January 18 -- What some dreamed would be the most twisted wedding fashions in history may never get stitched together: Shock-rocker Marilyn Manson and actress Rose McGowan have broken off their nearly two-year engagement.

"There is great love, but our lifestyle difference is, unfortunately, even greater," said McGowan in a statement issued by their publicist, though she didn't specify which aspect of the notorious singer's habits were most at odds with her own.

The brief statement said Manson, 32, and McGowan, 27, had "decided to break off their engagement," but publicist Nicole Perez added, "they're splitting up altogether." She said the pair, who were living together, had been a couple for about three years.

Surprisingly, the person who may be most disappointed may be McGowan's mother, Terri Glidden. When her daughter accepted Manson's proposal in February 1999, Glidden told Wall of Sound, "I'm surprised, but very happy. I was hoping they would get married."

As is the case with many a rock star, it may have been touring that was the final test for the relationship. Manson is currently in the midst of his Guns, God, and Government tour, in support of his fourth album, Holy Wood (In the Shadow of the Valley of Death). The tour kicks off its European leg Sunday in Birmingham, England.

That release sold 115,000 copies in its first week, landing at No. 13 on the Billboard pop charts, but some retailers balked at stocking the CD with its original cover, which pictured a jaw-less Manson nailed to a cross.

Manson, whose real name is Brian Warner, abandoned his last tour in response to a barrage of criticism labeling his music as a possible influence behind the 1999 Columbine High School massacre in Littleton, Colo. It turned out that the two youths who gunned down their classmates Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris were not Manson fans.

Manson and McGowan made headlines together later that year when they co-starred in a controversial music video, "Coma White" (from Mechanical Animals), which depicted them as president and first lady in a re-creation of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.