Marilyn Manson has sued ex-fiancee Evan Rachel Wood over her documentary claiming the musician has sexually assaulted several women, alleging she manufactured a conspiracy to portray him as a serial abuser to further her career.
The suit claims Wood and her friend Illma Gore convinced his accusers to lie about allegations that they were sexually assaulted. Manson also alleges that the pair impersonated a federal agent by forging a letter claiming that his accusers were in danger, created fake email accounts pretending to be him and hacked his computer as part of their scheme. “The timing and overlapping substance of the public accusations against Warner was no coincidence, but rather the product of a wrongful conspiracy by Wood and Gore to organize, coordinate, and promulgate false allegations about Warner,” reads the complaint filed on Wednesday in Los Angeles Superior Court. Wood’s attorney and agency did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Wood stated in the HBO documentary Phoenix Rising, which will debut on March 15, that she was “essentially raped on camera” while filming a 2007 music video for Manson. The documentary explores Wood’s efforts to pass The Phoenix Act, legislation that extends the statute of limitations for domestic violence cases in California, as well as sexual assault allegations against Manson by various others.
The Westworld actress, who was in a relationship with Manson from 2006 to 2010, is one of several people to accuse the musician of assault and abuse, including Game of Thrones’ Esme Bianco and ex-girlfriend Ashley Morgan Smithline.
Manson, who’s been dropped by his record label Loma Vista and Creative Artists Agency, has denied all of the allegations.
“This detailed complaint has been filed to stop a campaign of malicious and unjustified attacks on Brian Warner,” his attorney Howard King tells The Hollywood Reporter. “Years after the end of Evan Rachel Wood’s long-term relationship with Warner, she and her girlfriend Illma Gore recruited numerous women and convinced them to make false allegations against him – claims that Wood and Gore scripted for them.”
According to the complaint, Wood and Gore have secretly recruited and pressured prospective accusers to simultaneously emerge with allegations of rape and abuse against Warner. The alleged aim was to rebrand Wood as “an outspoken standard bearer for victims of domestic violence or sexual assault—thereby absolving her reputation for having a wild past and her embarrassment for having been in a long term relationship with Marilyn Manson.”
Manson claims that his accusers were given a checklist of 21 allegedly fabricated acts of abuse to ensure that their claims would mirror each other and create the perception of a pattern of sexual assault. The list includes claims that they were raped, drugged and locked in a room that they were unable to leave.
The lawsuit also alleges that Wood and Gore impersonated an FBI agent by forging a fake letter claiming that Manson’s victims were in danger. The letter stated that there was an ongoing investigation into Manson.
The document was used in a custody proceeding between Manson and Wood as evidence that she should be allowed to move her son to Tennessee. The complaint claims that Wood lied under penalty of perjury by stating that she was “advised by criminal investigators that my and my family’s safety was at risk,” and that “[t]o punctuate the seriousness of the situation, I was provided with a correspondence from a representative of the Federal Violent Crimes Department from the FBI.”
Gore also was alleged to have created fake email accounts impersonating Manson to manufacture correspondence that she believed would bolster allegations against him, according to the complaint. She allegedly used the accounts to create documents that made it look like Manson was communicating with attorneys regarding a criminal investigation. In an email just days after Wood went public with allegations against Manson, one of the accounts received a message from a from a person purporting to be writing on behalf of Warner’s attorney.
The scheme escalated, the lawsuit claims, when Gore in February notified the Los Angeles Police Department that the FBI had received a call from a friend of Manson who claimed that she was concerned for Manson’s safety because she had been unable to reach him. Multiple officers and a helicopter were dispatched to Manson’s home, drawing further attention to assault accusations against Manson.
The complaint, which seeks punitive damages, claims intentional infliction of emotional distress and defamation, among other claims.
King added that HBO was duped into distributing the documentary and refused to alter plans to air it when he notified the company of the fake federal investigation. HBO is not named in the lawsuit.