Marilyn Manson Defamation Claims Against Evan Rachel Wood Defanged by California Judge

Marilyn Manson defamation lawsuit Evan Rachel Wood

Photo Credit: Andreas Lawen / CC by 4.0

A California judge has tossed many of the claims in the Marilyn Manson defamation lawsuit against Evan Rachel Wood.

The shock rocker sued the actress over her claims of abuse during the couple’s relationship. However, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Teresa A Beaudet granted Wood’s special motion to strike many parts of the defamation suit on anti-SLAPP grounds and its protection of individual free speech.

The defamation lawsuit can proceed on the remaining counts, but many of the biggest allegations are dead. “The ruling is disappointing but not unexpected,” Marilyn Manson’s lawyer Howard King told Deadline. “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.”

“The failure to admit this critical evidence, along with the Court’s decision to not consider Ms. Gore’s iPad, the contents of which demonstrated how she and Mrs. Wood crafted a forged FBI letter, will be the subject of an immediate appeal to the California Court of Appeal,” the letter continues.

Evan Rachel Wood took to social media in 2021 to publicly name and shame Marilyn Manson for what she calls a pattern of horrific abuse and grooming. Wood was 19 when she and Manson became a couple. In 2017, she testified to a Congressional committee that she had been raped and repeatedly abused, but did not name her predator at the time. Following the public allegation, Marilyn Manson was dropped by his record label, lost TV gigs, and CAA representation.

Actress Esme Bianco settled her two-year long sexual assault case against the shock rocker in February 2022. The results of that settlement are unknown. The lawsuit Manson filed against Wood mainly pertains to allegations made in the two-part documentary, Phoenix Rising. The documentary exposes how Manson cycles through abuse and violence and premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2022.