Marilyn Manson’s Lawsuit Against Evan Rachel Wood Mostly Dismissed
A Los Angeles judge has dismissed most of Marilyn Manson’s defamation lawsuit against Evan Rachel Wood, including claims that Wood “recruited, coordinated, and pressured” women to make false statements about the musician using a checklist and a script, and claims that the actor forged a letter from the FBI. The lawsuit is currently working its way through a Los Angeles civil court. The judge cited California’s anti-SLAPP statute in the ruling, a law that protects individuals’ freedom of speech.
“Based on the foregoing, the Court does not find that Plaintiff has demonstrated a probability of prevailing on his IIED [infliction of emotional distress] claim based on Wood ‘recruiting, coordinating, and pressuring multiple women to make false accusations against Warner and to be part of their film project,'” Judge Teresa Beaudet ruled. The case will go forward with the remaining allegations not struck down by the judge.
“We are very pleased with the Court’s ruling, which affirms and protects Evan’s exercise of her fundamental First Amendment rights,” Wood’s attorney Michael Kump said in a statement. “As the Court correctly found, Plaintiff failed to show that his claims against her have even minimal merit.”
Marilyn Manson’s (real name Brian Warner) attorney called the ruling “disappointing but not unexpected” and cited the fact that the court would not admit a sworn declaration from former plaintiff Ashley Smithline, who recanted her allegations against Manson in February.
“The failure to admit this critical evidence, along with the Court’s decision to not consider Ms. Gore’s iPad, the contents of which demonstrated how she and Ms. Wood crafted a forged FBI letter, will be the subject of an immediate appeal to the California Court of Appeal,” Howard King added.
In 2021, Wood publicly accused Manson of grooming and abuse after previously alluding to her experience with Manson in a widely shared testimony before the House Judiciary Committee in 2018. Since Wood came forward, multiple people have accused Manson of sexual assault and battery, including a January 2023 lawsuit for sexual assault of a minor dating back to the 1990s. Manson settled out of court with another accuser, actress Esmé Bianco, in January.
If you or someone you know is undergoing sexual abuse, please visit rainn.org or contact the National Sexual Assault Helpline at 1-800-656-4673.