Hanson Bridgett Secures Victory in Anti-SLAPP Motion Against Marilyn Manson
May 10, 2023 (San Francisco, CA) – After a year-long battle against Brian Warner (f/k/a Marilyn Manson), Hanson Bridgett partner Maggie Ziemianek and associate Tom Rivera secured victory on the anti-SLAPP motion filed on behalf of their client Ashley Gore.
In her May 9, 2023 order, Judge Teresa Beaudet of the Los Angeles Superior Court granted Gore's anti-SLAPP motion, as well as the anti-SLAPP motion filed by co-defendant Evan Rachel Wood (represented by separate counsel). The order strikes Warner's defamation claim against the defendants in its entirety, and portions of the intentional infliction of emotional distress claim. The Court agreed with the defendants that the challenged claims arose from protected conduct and that Warner failed to demonstrate that either defendant coerced or pressured anyone to make false accusations against him, or that Gore made knowingly false statements about Warner. The order authorizes the defendants to seek attorneys’ fees from Warner.
"Needless to say, we are very happy with the Court's thorough and thoughtful decision," said Hanson Bridgett partner Maggie Ziemianek. "This is an example of the anti-SLAPP statute operating as intended: protecting litigants from meritless claims arising from their exercise of First Amendment rights."
Background on the Case
Gore and Wood were featured in an HBO documentary entitled Phoenix Rising. The documentary presents Wood’s journey to publicly accusing Manson of physical and mental abuse, with the support of Gore (who is an abuse survivor herself). The documentary chronicles Wood and Gore’s efforts to lobby for passage of the Phoenix Act, which extended the statute of limitations in California for domestic violence survivors, and to support other women who accused Manson of abuse.
Warner filed his complaint just two weeks before the documentary aired, alleging (among other things) that Gore and Wood coerced, coached, and pressured women to falsely accuse Warner of abuse. Warner also alleged that Gore made defamatory statements about Warner with respect to Groupie, an unreleased 1996 film of Warner's. Defendant Gore filed her anti-SLAPP motion in May 2022, arguing that the claims directly arose from Gore's participation in the documentary, petitioning activity in connection with the Phoenix Act, her communications with Warner's accusers, and work with law enforcement.
About Hanson Bridgett LLP
Hanson Bridgett LLP is a full service AmLaw 200 law firm with more than 200 attorneys across California. Creating a diverse workforce by fostering an atmosphere of belonging and intentional support has been a priority at Hanson Bridgett since its founding in 1958. We are dedicated to creating an environment that provides opportunities for people with varied backgrounds, both for attorneys and administrative professionals. As the first law firm recognized as a certified B Corp, we are committed to the communities where our employees live and work and consider it part of our professional obligation to serve justice by encouraging and supporting pro bono and social impact work.
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