A court in California dismissed significant portions of Marilyn Manson’s lawsuit against his ex-fiancée, “Westworld” actor Evan Rachel Wood, on the grounds that she made up claims that he had mistreated her physically and se*ually when they were together and had encouraged other women to do the same.
In his lawsuit, Manson claims that Wood and another defendant, Illma Gore, defamed him, purposely caused him emotional pain, and destroyed his career in music, TV, and cinema.
The lawsuit was filed last year. It claims that they instructed other women on how to speak about Manson, whose legal name is Brian Warner, and used deceptive tactics to get them to come forward with se*ual abuse allegations, including using a fake FBI letter.
Judge Teresa A. Beaudet of the Los Angeles Superior Court dismissed the portion of the lawsuit about the disputed FBI letter, which Wood claims to have forged. An amount that claimed Wood and Gore had used an iPad checklist to compile abuse allegations against Manson was also deleted by Beaudet.
The court ruled that the evidence that the defendants used the FBI letter to damage Manson and recruit other women was speculative and weak. However, she did not rule on the FBI letter’s legality. Beaudet discovered that there was insufficient proof that Wood and Gore wrote the checklist. She claimed that there was a slim chance Manson would win either case.
Beaudet’s decision was supported by a California law designed to prevent lawsuits from stifling defendants’ right to free speech.
“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.”
Manson’s attorney said he plans an immediate appeal.
“The ruling is disappointing but not unexpected,” Manson’s attorney Howard King said in an email. “The Court telegraphed this outcome when it refused to consider the bombshell sworn declaration of former plaintiff Ashley Smithline, which detailed how Evan Rachel Wood and Illma Gore systematically pressured women to make false claims about Brian Warner.”
The judge denied Wood’s request to dismiss additional claims in the lawsuit that the defendants intentionally caused Manson emotional pain. The subsequent sections contain accusations that the ladies hacked Manson’s phone, social media, and email accounts, manufactured a fake email to show that he was emailing illegal pornography, and “swatted” him by making a prank call to summon police to his house.
In recent years, many women have filed lawsuits against Manson, alleging se*ual and other forms of abuse. Most of them have been dropped or settled, including a lawsuit brought by “Game of Thrones” star Esme Bianco.
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Additionally, for more than two years, Manson has been the subject of a criminal investigation by police and prosecutors. Before determining whether to file charges against him, prosecutors stated in September that they required additional information from detectives. The involved women have not been named. If a victim of se*ual abuse does not come forward publicly, The Associated Press usually does not name them.
Wood testified before a Congressional committee in 2018 and stated she had been raped and mistreated in 2017, both times doing so anonymously during the #MeToo movement’s growth.
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Then in February 2020, Wood mentioned Manson in an Instagram post, claiming that he had “horrifically abused me for years.” The two came out of a relationship in 2007, and before splitting up in 2010, they were briefly engaged. In March, an HBO documentary about the accusations debuted.
According to Manson’s lawsuit, Wood only had positive things to say about him when they were together and kept quiet about his abuse of her for ten years until she found Gore, an artist who the lawsuit claims were Wood’s on-again, off-again lover.
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