Marilyn Manson's defamation lawsuit against Evan Rachel Wood has multiple claims thrown out

Marilyn Manson in 2020
(Image credit: Karwai Tang/Getty Images)

There has been a key update in the ongoing legal battle between Marilyn Manson and his ex-fianceé Evan Rachel Wood, who has alleged that Manson - real name Brian Warner - abused her during their relationship. 

Yesterday (Tuesday May 9), a California judge tossed out key sections of Manson's lawsuit against Wood, which accused Wood of fabricating her stories of abuse, while also accusing Wood of encouraging other women to come forward with allegations of their own.

Manson's lawsuit claimed that Wood and another defendant, Illma Gore, defamed Manson, negatively impacting his career in film, music and television and causing him emotional distress. 

It also claimed that the two womens' accusations used 'false pretenses', including as a faked FBI letter, to convince other women to come forward with abuse allegations against Manson.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Teresa A Beaudet threw out the part of the lawsuit featuring the FBI letter, which Wood has denied forging.

According to reports, Beaudet has also thrown out the part of the lawsuit that accused Wood and Gore of using a 'checklist' to prompt other women to make false abuse claims about Manson, citing a lack of evidence and an unlikely conviction.

“We are very pleased with the Court’s ruling, which affirms and protects Evan’s exercise of her fundamental First Amendment rights,” says Evan Rachel Wood’s attorney Michael Kump in a statement released following the decision. “As the Court correctly found, Plaintiff failed to show that his claims against her have even minimal merit.”

“The ruling is disappointing but not unexpected,” Manson’s attorney Howard King has stated. “The Court telegraphed this outcome when it refused to consider the bombshell sworn declaration of former plaintiff Ashley Smithline, which detailed how women were systematically pressured by Evan Rachel Wood and Illma Gore to make false claims about Brian Warner.”

In February 2021, Evan Rachel Wood released a statement claiming Manson had “horrifically abused" and "brainwashed" her during their relationship. "I am done living in fear of retaliation, slander, or blackmail," she said in a post released on Instagram. "I am here to expose this dangerous man and call out the many industries that have enabled him, before he ruins any more lives. I stand with the many victims who will no longer be silent.” Numerous other women have also since come forwards with abuse allegations.

Manson has denied all allegations against him.

Merlin Alderslade
Executive Editor, Louder

Merlin moved into his role as Executive Editor of Louder in early 2022, following over ten years working at Metal Hammer. While there, he served as Online Editor and Deputy Editor, before being promoted to Editor in 2016. Before joining Metal Hammer, Merlin worked as Associate Editor at Terrorizer Magazine and has previously written for the likes of Classic Rock, Rock Sound, eFestivals and others. Across his career he has interviewed legends including Ozzy Osbourne, Lemmy, Metallica, Iron Maiden (including getting a trip on Ed Force One courtesy of Bruce Dickinson), Guns N' Roses, KISS, Slipknot, System Of A Down and Meat Loaf. He has also presented and produced the Metal Hammer Podcast, presented the Metal Hammer Radio Show and is probably responsible for 90% of all nu metal-related content making it onto the site.