Controversial musician and actor Brian Warner, better known by his stage name Marilyn Manson, has filed a lawsuit against his former partner, actor Evan Rachel Wood. The suit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court accuses Wood and artist Ashley Gore, also known as Illma Gore, of illegal acts seeking to portray Warner in a negative light and derail his performing career. Perhaps most shocking of the claims in Warner’s lawsuit is the allegation that Wood and Gore impersonated an agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation by means of a fabricated letter stating that Warner was the subject of a federal criminal investigation and providing “scripts” and falsehoods for other accusers to bring against Warner. As of yet, neither Wood nor Gore (or their representatives) has commented on the lawsuit.
Marilyn Manson/Brian Warner’s new lawsuit against Evan Rachel Wood and Illma Gore is part of an ongoing legal battle. While the singer has always cultivated controversy as part of his musical performances and persona, his public image took a shocking turn in recent years when Wood and several other individuals accused Warner of various actions such as sexual assault and domestic abuse. In particular, Wood made her allegations the most publicly known by speaking her allegations on social media, where she accused Warner of grooming her when she was a teenager and allegedly sexually assaulting her on camera during the filming of one of his music videos. Somewhat unusually for an accusation of this kind, Wood was specific about Warner and his alleged actions, including “brainwashing” and threatening retaliation for speaking out. Aside from the recently filed lawsuit, Warner has denied all accusations, describing them as “malicious falsehoods.”
Evan Rachel Wood was the subject of a two-part documentary Phoenix Rising by filmmaker Amy Berg. It premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2021, and examines Wood’s life and her alleged abuse by Marilyn Manson/Brian Warner at length. It is set to premiere on HBO this year. Warner’s lawsuit does not name Berg as one of the defendants in his accusations, but also claims that the filmmakers behind Phoenix Rising were victims of Wood and Gore’s “malicious falsehoods” and were misled into making the documentary. In addition to Berg’s documentary and Wood’s social media posts, Warner has been accused by Game of Thrones actor Esmé Bianco of behavior similar to that described by Wood.
Early in 2021, the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department’s Special Victims Bureau opened a probe into Warner’s alleged actions in the time period specified.
Since the allegations against Marilyn Manson/Brian Warner, his career has swiftly fallen. He was quickly dropped by his record label, agent and longtime manager, and was briefly arrested in New Hampshire for an unrelated prior assault accusation. His most public appearance in the last year was at a performance for Kanye West’s Donda album, and he has continued to work with the rapper/producer in 2022. It will have to remain to be seen how Warner’s new lawsuit will affect the ongoing situation, but we will keep you informed.