A judge has struck down several claims made by Marilyn Manson (real name Brian Warner) in his defamation lawsuit against actor Evan Rachel Wood.
According to a report by Rolling Stone, Los Angeles Judge Teresa Beaudet has ruled against Manson on his claims that Wood had "recruited, coordinated, and pressured" women to come forward with false statements against him using a checklist and a script, as well as the claim that Wood forged an FBI letter. Beaudet also ruled that Wood and accuser Ilma Gore's claims that Manson's 1996 film Groupie featured an underage individual was a "protected activity."
"Based on the foregoing, the Court does not find that Plaintiff has demonstrated a probability of prevailing on his IIED [infliction of emotional distress] claim based on Wood 'recruiting, coordinating, and pressuring multiple women to make false accusations against Warner and to be part of their film project,'" said Beaudet in her ruling.
Wood's attorney Michael Kump said in a comment to Rolling Stone: "As the Court correctly found, Plaintiff failed to show that his claims against her have even minimal merit."
However, Manson's attorney Howard King wasn't thrilled. "The Court telegraphed this outcome when it refused to consider the bombshell sworn declaration of former plaintiff Ashley Smithline," he said in reference to Ashley Smithline, who took back her statements about being pressured to make statements against Manson.
"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."
Manson's legal team plans to appeal the decision, and a tentative trial date has been set for May 1, 2024. Manson originally filed his defamation lawsuit against Wood in March 2022, and has since posted the lawsuit in its entirety online.