A Los Angeles Superior Court judge Tuesday dismissed portions of a defamation lawsuit filed last year by musician Marilyn Manson against his former fiancee, Evan Rachel Wood.
The “Westworld” actress accused Manson of “grooming” her when she was a teenager in an Instagram post shared in February 2021. The former couple began dating in 2007 when Wood was 19 and Manson was 39.
Manson, whose full name is Brian Warner, alleged in the suit that Wood and another woman named as a defendant, Illma Gore, defamed Manson, intentionally caused him emotional distress and derailed his career in music, TV and film.
It says they used false pretenses, including a phony letter from the FBI, to convince other women to come forward with sexual abuse allegations and coached them on what to say about Manson.
On Tuesday, Judge Teresa A. Beaudet dismissed the part of the suit dealing with the disputed FBI letter, which Wood denied forging.
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Beaudet also tossed out a section that alleged Wood and Gore used a checklist found on an iPad for other women to use to make abuse claims about “The Beautiful People” singer.
“The ruling is disappointing but not unexpected,” Manson’s lawyer, Howard King, said in a statement provided to Fox News Digital.
“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.”
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King added, “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 Ms. Wood crafted a forged FBI letter, will be the subject of an immediate appeal to the California Court of Appeal.”
The judge did not rule on the merits of the FBI letter, but found that the evidence that the defendants used it to recruit other women and harm Manson was hypothetical and thin. Evidence was also lacking that Wood and Gore created the checklist, Beaudet found. She said the probability of Manson prevailing on either part was low.
Wood’s attorney, Michael Kump, said in a statement to Fox News Digital: “We are very pleased with the Court’s ruling, which affirms and protects Evan’s exercise of her fundamental First Amendment rights. As the Court correctly found, Plaintiff failed to show that his claims against her have even minimal merit.”
Manson’s attorneys plan on appealing.
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A separate sexual abuse lawsuit filed against the shock Goth rocker by Ashley Morgan Smithline was dismissed by a federal judge in January.
In Smithline’s initial suit, she accused Manson of multiple instances of rape and abuse between 2010 and 2013.
“We thank and commend Ashley Smithline for dismissing her claims against Brian Warner without seeking or receiving anything in return,” King said in a statement provided to Fox News Digital at the time.
“Ms. Smithline has refused to be manipulated by others who are trying to pursue their own agendas against Mr. Warner. We wish her well and will continue to work to assure that a significant price will be paid by those who have tried to abuse our legal system.”
“Game of Thrones” actress Esmé Bianco filed a suit against Manson in 2021, alleging sexual assault, trafficking and abuse during their four-year relationship which began in 2009. Bianco settled her lawsuit in January.
In September, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department completed a 19-month investigation into sexual abuse allegations against Manson. Detectives turned in results to prosecutors, who said more evidence was needed before considering criminal charges.
Manson has consistently denied the allegations against him.
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The Associated Press contributed to this report.