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Marilyn Manson files defamation lawsuit against Evan Rachel Wood

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John Shearer/Getty Images; Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

Marilyn Manson is suing ex-fiancée Evan Rachel Wood for defamation, Deadline reports.

In the complaint, Manson, born Brian Warner, accuses Wood and artist Illma Gore, who is referred to as Wood’s “on-again, off-again romantic partner,” of “wrongful and illegal acts done in furtherance of a conspiracy…to publicly cast [Warner] as a rapist and abuser — a malicious falsehood that has derailed Warner’s successful music, TV, and film career.”

Wood publicly accused Warner of abuse in a February 2021 Instagram post, writing that the shock rocker had “horrifically abused [her] for years.”

Following Wood’s claim, which Warner denied as “horrible distortions of reality,” several other women came forward with accusations of sexual, physical and emotional abuse, including actor Esmé Bianco, model Ashley Morgan Smithline, and Warner’s former assistant, Ashley Walters. Warner has denied those allegations, as well.

In his suit, Warner alleges that Wood and Gore “provided checklists and scripts to prospective accusers” and “made knowingly false statements to prospective accusers,” and impersonated an FBI agent to “create the false appearance…that there was a federal criminal investigation of Warner ongoing.”

Warner’s lawyer, Howard King, tells Deadline, “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.”

Warner’s suit arrives ahead of Wood’s upcoming Phoenix Rising documentary, which premieres March 15 on HBO. In the two-part film, Wood accuses Warner of drugging and raping her during the filming of his “Heart-Shaped Glasses” music video. Warner’s lawyer denied the claim as “false” and an “imaginative retelling.”

For anyone affected by abuse and needing support, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233, or if you’re unable to speak safely, you can log onto thehotline.org or text LOVEIS to 1-866-331-9474.

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