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Marilyn Manson sues Evan Rachel Wood for defamation

Manson's suit against Wood, who's accused him of domestic abuse and sexual assault, comes just two weeks before new documentary Phoenix Rising airs on HBO

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Marilyn Manson
Marilyn Manson
Photo: Karwai Tang (Getty Images)

Brian Hugh Warner, better known by his stage name Marilyn Manson, has sued his former partner Evan Rachel Wood today, on charges of defamation. Warner claims that the Westworld actor has defamed him by making statements that Warner abused and sexually assaulted her for years during their former relationship, which began when Wood was 18, and Warner was 37. Wood has long spoken about a former abusive partner, but only formally revealed that the man in question was Warner in February of 2021.

Wood’s allegations against Warner—which include statements featured in the upcoming HBO documentary Phoenix Rising, where she discusses how Warner “essentially raped” her during the filming of a music video—have led several other women to come forward with their own allegations against him, including Game Of Thrones actor Esmé Bianco. Wood has also worked in recent years to extend the statute of limitations in domestic violence cases in California through her advocacy for the Phoenix Act, a campaign that’s not hard to see as linked to her experiences with Warner.


Per Deadline, Warner’s suit gets pretty specific, accusing Wood of engineering a “conspiracy” that’s “derailed Warner’s successful music, TV, and film career.” (Warner was dropped by his label after multiple women came forward with allegations of abuse against him.)

Among other claims, Warner’s team says Wood and her associates hacked his computers and social media accounts, and allegedly sent a letter impersonating an FBI agent to other potential victims. (“Victims,” in the language of the suit.) They also accuse Wood of coaching possible accusers as to which accusations to levy against him.


Warner is reportedly seeking a jury trial, as well as as-yet unspecified damages.

The lawsuit arrives two weeks before Phoenix Rising, directed by Amy Berg, is set to arrive on HBO after a Sundance debut. Warner’s attorney has asserted that Amy Berg and HBO are also victims of Wood” and co-defendant Illma Gore.