Thursday, December 7

Marilyn Manson files defamation lawsuit against Evan Rachel Wood over rape and abuse allegations against him

Marilyn Manson is his former girlfriend and actor Evan Rachel Wood in connection to her allegations that he raped and abused her over the course of their relationship less than two weeks before Wood is set to star in an HBO documentary.

Manson, whose real name is Brian Warner, filed a defamation suit against Wood and another woman in Los Angeles Superior Court Wednesday, accusing them of having “secretly recruited, coordinated, and pressured prospective accusers.” The lawsuit also names Ashley Gore, who worked with Wood as part of the actor’s push to pass the legislation for abuse victims.

Neither Wood nor Gore immediately responded to a request for comment from NBC News.

His suit, which asks for a jury trial, accuses Wood and Gore of intentional infliction of emotional distress. He accused Gore of defamation, impersonation over the internet and violation of the Comprehensive Computer Data and Access Fraud Act.

Wood testified before a House Judiciary Subcommittee hearing on sexual abuse in 2018 that she had been raped two times, first by an abusive partner and then by a man in the storage closet of a bar. At the time, she had not named her alleged abusers of her.

But Wood accused Manson of “grooming me when I was a teenager and horrifically abused me for years” in an Instagram post last year.

Manson addressed Wood’s allegations in an Instagram post that February, stating that his art and his life “have long been magnets for controversy, but these recent claims about me are horrible distortions of reality.”

“My intimate relationships have always been entirely consensual with like-minded partners,” he said. “Regardless of how — and why — others are now choosing to misrepresent the past, that is the truth.”

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Manson alleges that Wood and Gore conspired for months prior to her post to coordinate allegations as part of a documentary, “Phoenix Rising,” which is set to release on HBO on March 15.

“That same day, several other women, assisted and coordinated by Wood and/or Gore, sought media attention with remarkably similar public abuse allegations against Warner,” the lawsuit said. “Those claims, like Wood’s, were false.”

Manson has not been charged with any crime connected to Wood’s allegations.

Howard King, the lawyer representing Manson, alleged in a statement and in the lawsuit filing that the women forged a letter impersonating an actual FBI agent who claimed to be investigating Manson. He accused Wood and Gore of using the letter to recruit other women into making allegations and to convince HBO into publishing their documentary.

The alleged letter is attached in the lawsuit filing and has been seen by NBC News. It does not have an FBI logo and states that Wood is a key witness in a criminal investigation involving a “well known public figure” but does not name Manson. Though the copy of the letter is redacted, it appears to have been signed by someone in the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

The FBI and district attorney’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the letter or an investigation into Manson.

“Even though HBO and the producers have been made aware of these serious acts of misconduct, they have thus far chosen to proceed without regard for the facts,” King said. “But the evidence of wrongdoing by Wood and Gore is irrefutable — and this legal action will hold them to account.”

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HBO declined to comment on the filing to NBC News.

The lawsuit also alleges that Gore contacted prospective women by stating that she worked with Wood as part of her domestic abuse advocacy and was organizing a meeting for a group of women who might have had similar experiences. She then sent women a “checklist” of abusive acts to ensure all the allegations were coordinated, the lawsuit said.

Manson also accused Gore of hacking his social media and email accounts to gain access to personal information and private conversations. The lawsuit alleges that she slandered him to the women she spoke with de ella to “orchestrate and amplify false accusations against Warner, thereby bolstering Wood’s claim that Warner had been her de ella (and others’ de ella) abuser de ella.”

Manson’s home was searched and police took “media storage devices” in November as part of a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department investigation into allegations of domestic abuse and assault, NBC Los Angeles reported at the time. The sheriff’s department and the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office did not immediately respond to inquiries about the status of the investigation.

A lawsuit filed against Manson by a woman, who remained anonymous, was dismissed by a judge last year after it was determined the statute of limitations had expired on the allegations. He still faces lawsuits from three other women.

“Game of Thrones” actor Esmé Bianco filed a lawsuit in April against Manson, alleging he committed multiple violent sexual assaults, a rape and other abuse from 2009 to 2013.

In May, his then-assistant Ashley Walters accused the goth singer of sexual exploitation and psychological abuse. A judge ordered Walters to amend her filing last week in response to a request from Manson’s attorneys to dismiss the case based on statute of limitations.

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And in June, model Ashley Morgan Smithline sued Manson for sexual assault, sexual battery and human trafficking.

Manson has repeatedly denied any and all allegations of sexual assault and abuse against him.

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