EXCLUSIVE: Marilyn Manson is taking ex-fiancée Evan Rachel Wood to court over her allegations of abuse that occurred over the course of the relationship between the widely accused shock rocker and the Westworld star.
“This action arises from the wrongful and illegal acts done in furtherance of a conspiracy by Defendant Evan Rachel Wood and her on-again, off-again romantic partner, Defendant Ashley Gore, a/k/a Illma Gore, to publicly cast Plaintiff Brian Warner, p/k/a Marilyn Manson, as a rapist and abuser—a malicious falsehood that has derailed Warner’s successful music, TV, and film career,” reads the complaint filed Wednesday morning in Los Angeles Superior Court (read it here).
The suit, which is seeking a jury trial, goes on to make some hard and specific accusations against Wood and Gore, alleging that the duo hacked into the singer’s computers and social media, as well as “created a fictitious email account to manufacture purported evidence that Warner was emailing illicit pornography.” The vivid complaint also drops even bigger bombshells of jurisdictional and ethical significance:
They impersonated an actual agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation by forging and distributing a fictitious letter from the agent, to create the false appearance that Warner’s alleged “victims” and their families were in danger, and that there was a federal criminal investigation of Warner ongoing (Attachment A);
They provided checklists and scripts to prospective accusers, listing the specific alleged acts of abuse that they should claim against Warner (Attachments B and C); and
They made knowingly false statements to prospective accusers (which have since been repeated by those accusers in court filings), including the defamatory claim that Warner filmed the sexual assault of a minor.
“We’re filing this now because we have been able to gather an overwhelming trove of evidence – including both documents and witness statements – which proves that the stories that Evan Rachel Wood and her co-conspirator Illma Gore have been falsifying and spreading are both vindictive and demonstrably untrue,” Manson’s main attorney Howard King told Deadline. “It’s incredibly important to differentiate between the character of ‘Marilyn Manson’ and the man Brian Warner,” added the King, Holmes, Paterno & Soriano partner. “Wood’s claims may resonate because of the intentionally ‘shocking’ character of ‘Marilyn Manson’ but they simply do not reflect the truth. The manufactured facts these conspirators scripted a decade after the event never happened.”
Representatives for Wood did not respond to request for comment on the lawsuit today. If and when they do, we will update.
Going after unspecified damages and “an order enjoining Wood and Gore from engaging in further wrongful conduct toward Warner,” Wednesday’s compliant comes two weeks before director Amy Berg’s two-part documentary about Wood’s allegations, Phoenix Rising, is set to premiere on HBO.
With its first installment having debuted at Sundance in January, the documentary traces Wood’s upbringing and the foundations of her seemingly deadly dalliance with Manson. As well as addressing Wood’s role in the passing of California’s statute of limitations-extending Phoenix Act, Phoenix Rising also delves into the actress’ assertion that she was sexually assaulted on camera at the age of 19 in Manson’s explicit 2007 video for “Heart-Shaped Glasses.”
Acclaimed director Berg and the WarnerMedia-owned premium cabler are not named as defendants in the “defamation per se” action, at least not yet. “Amy Berg and HBO are also victims of Wood and Gore,” King told Deadline. “They were duped into making a documentary based on false claims and fraudulent documents.”
The pugilistic multi-claim suit comes just over a year after Wood took to social media to publicly name Manson as “horrifically” abusing and “grooming” during their relationship from 2007 to 2010, when the Emmy nominee was still a teenager. Quickly dumped by his record label, TV gigs and CAA, Manson called Wood’s claims “horrible distortions of reality.” Subsequently, a number of others, like Game of Thrones actress Esmé Bianco, have come forward with allegations and lawsuits of their own detailing physical and psychological abuse by the “Antichrist Superstar” singer.
In February 2021, the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department’s Special Victims Bureau opened a probe into multiple abuse allegations that occurred between 2009-2011, when Manson lived in West Hollywood. The LASD did not respond to request for comment today by Deadline on the status of that investigation. Law enforcement sources do tell us however that the matter is ongoing.
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