Marilyn Manson Must Pay Evan Rachel Wood’s Legal Bill for Nixed Claims

January 30, 2024
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Marilyn Manson, whose legal name is Brian Warner, has been ordered to pay Evan Rachel Wood a whopping $326,956 to cover the legal fees the Westworld actress racked up defending against the defamation and emotional distress claims previously struck from his still-pending lawsuit against her.

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Teresa A. Beaudet ordered the hefty reimbursement at a court hearing Monday. It was last May that the same judge dismissed the claims from Warner’s lawsuit on the grounds that Wood was protected by the First Amendment or litigation privileges when she made allegations against Warner, including that he raped, tortured, and threatened her.

Judge Beaudet knocked a little more than $60,000 off the nearly $388,000 reimbursement Wood had been seeking to pay her legal tab. The judge said she agreed with Warner’s lawyers that some of the descriptions for billed hours were too “vague.”

Warner filed the underlying lawsuit in March 2022. He alleged Wood and her friend Illma Gore conspired to cast him “as a rapist and abuser” in the public eye. He said the “malicious falsehood” had “derailed” his music, TV, and film career.

Though the judge largely gutted Warner’s lawsuit with her May ruling, Wood and Gore are still facing claims they conspired to hack into Warner’s computer, impersonate him over the Internet, and make a “swatting” call that brought police to his doorstep. A trial is set for May 1.

“For years, Plaintiff Brian Warner raped and tortured Defendant Evan Rachel Wood and threatened retaliation if she told anyone about it. Warner has now made good on those threats by filing the present lawsuit,” Wood and her lawyers wrote in their successful anti-SLAPP motion that got the defamation and emotional distress claims dismissed last year.

In his lawsuit, Warner alleged that Wood secretly recruited and pressured prospective accusers to step forward in a coordinated attack, but that allegation will not reach jurors, the judge ruled. Wood said in a declaration that after she testified before Congress about her alleged abuse, several women reached out to her and “claimed to have experienced similar abuse” inflicted by Warner.

Attempts to reach Warner’s lawyers were not immediately successful Monday.

Warner, 55, has denied Wood’s allegations, as well as the separate claims of abuse from more than a dozen women. Last September, he reached a private settlement with a Jane Doe plaintiff who alleged he brutally raped her in 2011. The Doe accuser claimed Warner deprived her of food and sleep during their abusive dating relationship and that he threatened to “bash her head in” if she reported him. Warner previously reached a separate settlement with Game of Thrones star Esmé Bianco in January 2023. Bianco had alleged Warner raped and battered her.

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Ashley Walters, the former assistant who claims Warner sexually assaulted her, whipped her, and threw her against a wall during a drug-induced rage, won a critical appeal in December that revived her previously dismissed lawsuit against the shock rocker.

Former accuser Ashley Morgan Smithline, meanwhile, let her lawsuit end in default last year and formally recanted her allegations against Warner. Last year, another Jane Doe sued Warner for sexual assault.



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