Marilyn Manson has sued former fiancée and actress Evan Rachel Wood for defamation over accusations that he raped and abused her throughout their romance, calling the allegations a “malicious falsehood.”
The lawsuit alleges that for several years before Wood made headlines for a social media post in February of 2021 accusing Manson, whose real name is Brian Warner, of abuse, she had conspired with Ashley Gore, a woman who has been her “on-again, off-again romantic partner.”
Together they “secretly recruited, coordinated, and pressured prospective accusers to emerge simultaneously with allegations of rape and abuse” against Manson as part of a “conspiracy,” according to the lawsuit publicly shared by Manson.
The pair have been accused in the suit of impersonating an agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in a fictitious letter to “create the false appearance that Warner’s alleged ‘victims’ and their families were in danger,” and providing “checklists and scripts to prospective accusers” that listed “specific acts of abuse that they should claim against Warner.”
The alleged checklist is attached to the lawsuit, which asks for victim’s names, whether they are willing to testify and then has a series of abuses they can check including “blood drinking” “cut or assaulted during sex without prior consent” and “locked in ‘bad girl room’ or unable to physically leave.”
Gore, who has also been known as Illma Gore, has also been accused of hacking into Manson’s computers, phones, email accounts and social media accounts using his personal logins and passwords secured by former employees and creating a fake email account “to manufacture purported evidence that Warner was emailing illicit pornography,” according to the lawsuit.
Manson’s attorneys alleged that Gore also “swatted” Warner just days after Wood’s allegations on social media, by calling police on Feb. 3, 2021 and pretending to be a close friend of the singer’s who was concerned about his welfare, sending police, a helicopter and multiple squad cars to his home.
“This report was false,” the lawsuit alleges. “Warner was at home with his wife and a guest and not in danger. Gore knew her report was false—she and Warner have never even met.”
The lawsuit describes Gore as a “grifter who understood that an organized attack on Warner—spearheaded by Wood’s own fabricated revelation of rape and abuse—could benefit them both.”
According to the Manson’s attorneys, Wood went along with the plan so that her image could be “rebranded” from “someone who ‘still might best known for dating Marilyn Manson a decade ago’ into an outspoken standard bearer for victims of domestic violence or sexual assault—thereby absolving her reputation for having a ‘wild past’ and her embarrassment for having been in a long-term relationship with Marilyn Manson.”
They allege that the media attention surrounding Woods’ allegations was used to promote her nonprofit The Phoenix Act and provided “more manufactured content” for a documentary the pair had “secretly” been working on since 2019. HBO signed onto project, titled “Phoenix Rising” in 2020. The film is set to be released on March 15.
“Predictably, both Wood and Gore are prominently featured—and heroically depicted in the ‘documentary’” the lawsuit alleges.
Wood says in the documentary, which debuted at Sundance, that she was “coerced into a commercial sex act under false pretenses” with Manson during the music video for “Heart-Shaped Glasses,” according to Rolling Stone.
“That’s when the first crime was committed against me,” she said. “I was essentially raped on-camera.”
Manson is seeking general, special and punitive damages against Wood and Gore, arguing that the allegations of abuse have “derailed” his career and caused him to suffer “severe emotional distress.”
"This detailed complaint has been filed to stop a campaign of malicious and unjustified attacks on Brian Warner," his attorney Howard King said in a statement to Oxygen.com. "Years after the end of Evan Rachel Wood’s long-term relationship with Warner, she and her girlfriend Illma Gore recruited numerous women and convinced them to make false allegations against him – claims that Wood and Gore scripted for them."
King went on to reference the "fabricated FBI letter" saying that Wood and Gore "illegally forged" the letter to "not only join their crusade but also to dupe HBO into distributing a one-sided 'documentary' premised on the existence of an entirely fictitious federal investigation."
"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.”
Wood talked publicly in the past about being abused and raped in a prior relationship, but never formally named her alleged abuser until Feb. 1, 2021 when she posted a message on Instagram, saying that Manson had groomed her as a teenager and “horrifically abused” her for years.
“I was brainwashed and manipulated into submission,” she wrote. “I am done living in fear of retaliation, slander, or blackmail. I am here to expose this dangerous man and call out the many industries that have enabled him, before he ruins any more lives. I stand with the many victims who will no longer be silent.”
The couple dated from 2006 to 2010 and were briefly engaged before their split.
After Wood stepped forward, a series of other women have made similar accusations against the singer, including “Game of Thrones” actor Esme Bianco who sued Manson in April. She accused the performer of violent sexual assaults and other abuse between 2009 and 2013, NBC News reports.
The next month, he was accused by former assistant Ashley Walters of psychological abuse and sexual exploitation.
Model Ashley Morgan Smithline has also filed a lawsuit against Manson, accusing him of sexual battery, human trafficking and sexual assault.
Another lawsuit filed by a Jane Doe was dismissed after it was determined that the statute of limitations had expired.
Wood has yet to comment on the lawsuit against her.
In a post on Twitter, Manson shared the lawsuit writing “There will come a time when I can share more about the events of the past year. Until then, I’m going to let the facts speak for themselves.”