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Marilyn Manson sues Evan Rachel Wood for defamation over claims of abuse

The suit accuses Wood and the artist Illma Gore of conspiring to ruin Manson's reputation by, among other things, forging a letter from a fictitious FBI agent.

(CN) — Brian Warner, better known by his stage name Marilyn Manson, sued his former fiancé, the actress Evan Rachel Wood, on Wednesday for defamation. The complaint, filed in LA Superior Court, also names as a defendant Ashley Gore — aka Illma Gore, an artist, whom the suit describes as Wood's "on-again, off-again romantic partner."

Last year, Wood publicly accused Warner of abusing her emotionally, physically and sexually for years. Warner, who denied the charges, was dropped by his label. In an upcoming documentary entitled "Phoenix Rising," she goes even further, saying that on the set of his music video "Heart-Shaped Glasses" that she was "coerced into a commercial sex act under false pretenses,” and that she was "essentially raped on-camera" by Warner.

The suit calls these claims "a malicious falsehood that has derailed Warner’s successful music, TV, and film career," and lays the blame at the feet of Gore, an artist best known for painting a nude Donald Trump with a small penis. The complaint calls Gore a "a grifter who understood that an organized attack on Warner—spearheaded by Wood’s own fabricated revelation of rape and abuse—could benefit them both."

Besides lying, the civil complaint accuses Wood and Gore of forging a letter from a fictitious FBI agent "to create the false appearance that Warner’s alleged “victims” and their families were in danger and that there was a federal criminal investigation of Warner ongoing."

"Wood and Gore used that fabricated FBI letter not only to convince others to join their crusade but also to dupe HBO into distributing a one-sided 'documentary' premised on the existence of an entirely fictitious federal investigation," said Warner's attorney Howard King in a written statement. "Even though HBO and the producers have been made aware of these serious acts of misconduct, they have thus far chosen to proceed without regard for the facts. But the evidence of wrongdoing by Wood and Gore is irrefutable – and this legal action will hold them to account.”

Wood and Gore have not responded publicly to the lawsuit. Their representatives could not be reached by Deadline, which first reported the suit.

The complaint levels a bevy of other accusations against Gore: that he "hacked Warner’s computers, phones, email accounts, and/or social media accounts; created a fictitious email account to manufacture purported evidence that Warner was emailing illicit pornography; and 'swatted' Warner just days after Wood suddenly appeared all over the media, in order to draw further unwanted attention to Warner and to the false allegations Wood and Gore conspired to have made against him."

At least three other women have sued Warner, accusing him of rape, sexual assault and other forms of abuse. One of those suits, filed by an ex-girlfriend identified in the complaint as "Jane Doe," was dismissed by an LA Superior Court judge who ruled the statute of limitations had expired. Others are still pending, including one filed by a former assistant, Ashley Waters, and another former girlfriend, Esmé Bianco.

In November, detectives from the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department's Special Victims Bureau raided Warner's home in Hollywood, as part of what it called an "on-going investigation." According to the Sheriff's Department, "Mr. Warner was not home at the time of the warrant service. During the search, detectives seized items such as media storage devices."

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