Marilyn Manson, the controversial rock artist known for his dark and often disturbing music and persona, has been in the headlines for years due to allegations of abuse and misconduct. Recently, Manson found himself in court once again, this time defending against a defamation case brought by his ex-fiancée and fellow musician, Evan Rachel Wood.
Wood, who has been vocal about her experiences with domestic violence, sexual assault, and psychological abuse, accused Manson of subjecting her to similar mistreatment during their relationship. She went public with her allegations in February 2021, sparking a wave of similar claims from other women who had worked with or been involved with Manson in the past.
In response, Manson denied the allegations and labeled Wood’s claims as “horrible distortions of reality.” He also accused her of trying to “destroy” his career and reputation with her accusations, leading to the defamation lawsuit.
The case finally came before a judge on May 9, 2023, after months of legal wrangling and public scrutiny. Manson was present in court alongside his legal team, while Wood appeared via video conference. The hearing, which was closed to the public due to the sensitive nature of the allegations, lasted several hours and reportedly involved testimony from both parties and several witnesses.
A California judge on Tuesday threw out key sections of Marilyn Manson’s lawsuit against his former fiancee, ‘Westworld’ actor Evan Rachel Wood, claiming she fabricated public allegations that he sexually and physically abused her during their relationship and encouraged other women to do the same.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Teresa A. Beaudet dismissed the part of the suit dealing with the disputed FBI letter, which Wood denies forging. Beaudet also tossed out a section that alleges Wood and Gore used a checklist found on an iPad for other women to use to make abuse claims about Manson.
The judge did not rule on the merits of the FBI letter, but found that the evidence that the defendants used it to recruit other women and harm Manson was hypothetical and thin. Evidence was also lacking that Wood and Gore created the checklist, Beaudet found. She said the probability of Manson prevailing on either part was low.
In 2017, when the #MeToo movement gained momentum, Wood said she had been raped and abused, and she gave testimony to a Congressional committee in 2018, both without naming anyone. Then in an Instagram post in February of 2020, Wood named Manson, saying he “horrifically abused me for years.” The two revealed they were a couple in 2007, and were briefly engaged in 2010 before breaking up. An HBO documentary on the allegations premiered in March.
Manson’s lawsuit says Wood had only glowing things to say about Manson during their relationship, and she said nothing of his abusing her for 10 years until she met Gore, an artist whom the lawsuit describes as Wood’s on-again, off-again romantic partner.