Marilyn Manson Responds to Evan Rachel Wood Motion in Defamation Case

LOS ANGELES (CNS) – Marilyn Manson, who is suing Evan Rachel Wood and a second woman for defamation over sexual abuse allegations, says in new court papers that he and the actress once had a “loving” relationship and that her allegations of violence against him are “unequivocally false.”

The 53-year-old Manson says he and Wood met in 2006 and had a romantic relationship that lasted four years.

“During that time we were engaged to be married and carried on a loving and consensual relationship,” Manson says in a sworn declaration filed Wednesday in Los Angeles Superior Court in opposition to Wood’s motion to dismiss parts of the case against her. “Eventually, like many couples, we broke up. I never abused, assaulted, raped or threatened Wood or her family as she has since contended.”

Wood’s accusations against Manson of “abuse, assault, rape, threats and the like are unequivocally false,” Manson says.

In his suit filed March 2, Manson alleges Wood and her co-defendant, Ashley Gore — who the suit describes as the actress’ “on-again, off-again romantic partner” — falsely portrayed him as a “a rapist and abuser,” derailing his “successful music, TV and film career.”

According to Manson’s suit, the allegedly false sexual abuse allegations against him prompted his record label and manager to drop him and he also lost his role in the television show “American Gods.”

The suit alleges Gore, who is also known as Illma Gore, had multiple conversations with prospective “accusers” against the singer in which she claimed that a 1996 short film made by Manson called “Groupie” depicted child abuse and child pornography. During one such conversation in 2021, Gore said the actress in “Groupie” was a minor at the time of the shoot and was dead, and that, if the video were to be seen, Manson would be indicted, according to the suit.

In his declaration, Manson calls “Groupie” a “professional art/horror film I created and wrote” and that was filmed by director Joseph Cultice.

The actress, Pola Weiss, was over 21, there was no sex in the film and he and Weiss discussed the film’s concept, plot and some “high-level dialogue” prior to filming, Warner says.

When Warner showed Wood the “Groupie” in 2009, the actress said she was impressed with it and wished she had been chosen to be in the film, he says.

“I have suffered severe emotional distress as a result of Wood’s and Gore’s conduct … I am not a rapist or abuser, but many people now apparently think that I am,” Warner says.

Manson also alleges Wood and Gore forged and distributed a phony letter from a supposed FBI agent to create the false appearance that Manson’s alleged victims and their families were in danger. His attorneys have included declarations from others in support of the singer’s contention the letter was fraudulent, including Gore’s twin sibling, Bryton Gore, and attorney Blair Berk.

Berk, who has represented many celebrities, says she spoke to the FBI agent whose name is on the letter and that the woman said she had never investigated Manson or any matters related to him or Wood.

In the documentary “Phoenix Rising” that aired two weeks after Manson sued, Wood alleges that she was “essentially raped on camera” by Manson, her former fiance, during the filming of the video for 2007’s “Heart- Shaped Glasses.”

In April, Wood’s attorneys filed court papers seeking dismissal of parts of Manson’s complaint against her, citing free-speech grounds. In her own sworn declaration, Wood, 34, says that during the course of the relationship, Manson “raped me, tortured me, tied me up, beat me, starved me, deprived me of sleep and shocked sensitive parts of my body.”

The state’s anti-SLAPP — Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation — law is intended to prevent people from using courts, and potential threats of a lawsuit, to intimidate those who are exercising their First Amendment rights, and both dismissal motions cite the statute.

A hearing on Wood’s dismissal motion is scheduled for Aug. 18 and another on Sept. 13 for Gore, both before Judge Teresa A. Beaudet. However, Manson’s lawyers are asking for delays in the hearings so they can do more discovery in advance of them, including taking the depositions of Wood and Gore.

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