As of last month, around the time that the trailer for Evan Rachel Woods’ HBO documentary Phoenix Rising was released, it was reported that Marilyn Manson filed a lawsuit against the actress. Phoenix Rising is not only a documentary about Woods’ work to pass California’s Phoenix Act in 2019, which extended the statute of limitations on abuse charges, but it also covers her relationship with Manson.
As reported by Loudwire, Marilyn Manson reportedly threatened “retaliatory legal action” against a former assistant, Ashely Walters, if she took part in Woods’ documentary.
Back in 2021, Woods confirmed on social media that Marilyn Manson – legal name, Brain Warner – was her abuser; this statement came after an appearance Woods made before Congress to try and get the Sexual Assault Survivors Bill of Rights passed in all 50 states back in 2018. Since coming forward with her experience involving Marilyn Manson, other women have come forward sharing their own experiences with him (with one former assistant suing him for sexual assault). This former assistant is that of Ashley Walters, who Manson allegedly threatened with “retaliatory legal action.”
In a conversation with The Cut back in May of 2021, Walters filed a lawsuit against Manson that includes allegations that “Manson was a terrifying boss who had violent outbursts, made Walters work for 48 hours straight, and told his friends they could kiss and grope her.”
Manson recently filed a lawsuit against Evan Rachel Wood and her partner Illma Gore for defamation, fraud, and conspiracy, and according to an amended lawsuit filed March 11th, (per Rolling Stone), Walters was allegedly threatened with similar legal proceedings if she were to participate in Woods’ Phoenix Rising.
According to the amended lawsuit, Walters stated she repressed the memories of the abuse she claimed to endure by Manson. She added she only confronted what had occurred following therapy sessions in the autumn of 2020.
Explaining why she hadn’t come forward sooner, Walter’s lawyers wrote in the amended lawsuit, “While (Walters) could not recall many of the specific acts of intimidation, threats and coercion until Fall of 2020 or later, the compilation of numerous threatening and violent events instilled a constant state of fear of retribution and retaliation.
“Defendants should not benefit from [Manson’s] physically, emotionally and psychologically debilitating and threatening behaviour by being permitted to use the statute of limitations as a shield,” Walter’s lawyers continued.
Manson is currently facing lawsuits from Evan Rachel Wood, Ashley Smithline, Esmé Bianco and Ashley Walters. The Marilyn Manson lawsuit filed against Wood has been publicly posted online for anyone to read – you can find a link to that document here.
You can find the trailer for Evan Rachel Woods’ HBO documentary Phoenix Rising below. The documentary premiers March 15th and 16th on HBO.
Words by: Michael Pementel