Skip to main content

Home Music Music News

Marilyn Manson files defamation lawsuit against Evan Rachel Wood

The shock rocker is facing sexual abuse allegations from numerous women

By Joe Goggins

Marilyn Manson onstage at Rock am Ring Festival in Germany, 2015
Wood has detailed her accusations against Manson in the documentary 'Phoenix Rising'. (Photo: Andreas Lawen, Fotandi/Wikimedia Commons)

Marilyn Manson has filed a defamation lawsuit against Evan Rachel Wood, after the actress accused him of sexual abuse.

Per Deadline, the veteran shock rocker – real name Brian Warner – filed the suit in Los Angeles superior court on Wednesday (March 2), against Wood and her associate Ashley ‘Ilma’ Gore. It accuses the pair of “conspiracy” to cast him as “a rapist and abuser – a malicious falsehood that has derailed Warner’s successful music, TV, and film career.”

Manson’s suit contains a litany of allegations against the pair in support of his claim that they conspired against him, including that they recruited women to falsely accuse him of sexual assault, that they hacked into his computers and social media accounts, that they created a fake email address to frame him for transmitting illicit pornography, and that they impersonated an FBI agent to “create the false appearance” that his accusers, and their families, were in danger.

Manson tweeted a link to the complaint yesterday, along with the message, “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.” He is seeking a jury trial.

Wood is the most high-profile of a number of women who have accused Manson of abuse since the beginning of 2021. The timing of his complaint may be related to the imminent airing on HBO of ‘Phoenix Rising’, a documentary about Wood in which she details specific allegations against him pertaining to his conduct on the set of his 2007 video for ‘Heart-Shaped Glasses’, in which Wood appeared.

In the documentary, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January, Wood claimed that Manson plied her with absinthe on the video shoot and “essentially raped [her] on camera.” In the film, directed by Amy Berg, Wood recounts her experience thus: “It’s nothing like I thought it was going to be. We’re doing things that were not what was pitched to me. We had discussed a simulated sex scene, but once the cameras were rolling, he started penetrating me for real. I had never agreed to that.”

“It was complete chaos,” she continues. “I did not feel safe. No one was looking after me. It was a really traumatising experience filming the video. I felt disgusting and that I had done something shameful and I could tell that the crew was uncomfortable and nobody knew what to do.

‘Phoenix Rising’ will air in two parts – ‘Don’t Fall’ and ‘Stand Up’ – across the evenings of March 15 and 16 on HBO in the U.S., at 9pm Eastern Time. A UK air date has yet to be confirmed.