In his lawsuit filed against actress Evan Rachel Wood and Ashley Illma Gore, Marilyn Manson highlights how an unreleased Groupie video he produced in 1996 led to defamatory statements circulated that the film was illegal child pornography.
The rumors the ladies spread allegedly made their way to prospective accusers they were attempting to recruit to name Manson as an abuser and have even made their way into court documents against him from accusers.
Responding to his lawsuit, both Gore and Wood filed anti-slapp motions to strike these claims from Manson that any falsehoods the may have circulated that the film depicted abuse of minor is protected free speech.
Now what is this Groupie video?
If you don’t know of this Groupie video – no worries.
It was never released to the public outside of some brief clips featured in a 1998 Manson ‘Dead to the World’ tour DVD. The short horror film was directed by Joseph F. Cultice and co-stars Manson as well as actress Pola Weiss and his bandmate Jeordie. The film follows the story that a young fan walks into horror when breaking into the home of her rock musician idol.
The full Groupie video has never been released to the public but Manson has privately shown it to friends and girlfriends over the years — including Evan Rachel Wood.
Ashley Illma Gore has never attended a watch party, nor met Manson, but that has not stopped her from speaking on the project to others. Evidence and sworn statements show Gore spoke to at least two individuals about the project depicting abuse of a minor. She also allegedly shared that the underage actress in the film went on to commit suicide because of the trauma she endured while filming.
SPOILER ALERT: This is a lie.
In July 2022, the actress from the project came forward with a sworn statement denouncing Illma’s claims. She declares that she was over the age of 21 while filming, everything on camera was pretend, she was not harmed in anyway and – thankfully – is still alive.
A YouTuber named ‘Colonel Kurtz’ who has been covering the accusations against Manson from very early on also connected with the actress who appeared on her channel to share about her experience with Manson as well as filming the increasingly notorious short film that has been buzzed about by fans but never seen outside of a few seconds.
DINNER FOR FIVE:
Within her anti-slapp motion, Ashley Illma Gore’s legal team argues that her alleged statements about the film containing abuse of a minor are protected as free speech because she was merely repeating Marilyn Manson’s own words on the project.
To corroborate this position, she attaches a transcript from a Dinner for Five television show Manson appeared on with four other celebrity guests. The topic of his ‘Groupie’ project came up in conversation at the table. Despite comedian Andy Dick’s jokes to the contrary – Manson clearly refutes three times that the film was pornographic in nature.
Horror films by nature can be disturbing with some more so than others. Nonetheless, creating horrific situations that are entirely fictional for entertainment with fully consenting adults is not a crime.
Another false statement Gore circulated about the ‘Groupie’ video is that the underage actress was not credited by Manson in projects so no one would go “looking for her”. This is easily verified as a lie. Pola Weiss is listed as the actress on the project’s imDB page as well as additional credits for Manson’s ‘Dead to the World’ DVD special that featured short snippets of the project.
The nature of how Illma Gore spread this rumor is also something to look at.
This was not simply water-cooler talk or casual chatter amongst friends. She was approaching women she’s never met to discuss a film she’s never even seen containing abuse of an underage girl who later went on to commit suicide.
Her purpose in making circulating these falsehoods about the film was to garner increased interest on an outreach mission of hers. In Fall 2020, we know from multiple court documents as well as the two-part documentary Phoenix Rising that Gore was communicated with Manson to entice them to participate in a filmed ‘survivors’ meeting. These women would also go onto accuse Manson of abuse online in Feb. 2021.
Her purpose for making these bold (false) declarations about the film was to garner interest from women on an outreach mission of hers.
We have not yet seen all of Manson’s evidence but he has filed a sworn statement from one of the women Gore approached. Greta Aurora also has a YouTube channel where she discusses this further as well as her experience when she had an intimate few days with Manson that she says was not abusive.
Aurora describes two suspicious emails that she had received a few months apart that she didn’t respond to but hung onto because they bothered her. When multiple women named Manson as an abuser on Feb. 1, 2021 — a follow-up email she’d received from Illma a few days prior on Jan. 27, 2021 clicked in her head.
The initially email she received on Oct. 15, 2020 also made sense when Gore and Wood’s Phoenix Rising showed a staged scene of survivors gathering to hear Evan Rachel Wood’s story of alleged abuse on camera. The scene was filmed October 21, 2020. Copies of these two emails she received have been turned over to Manson’s legal team.
Watch Greta share her story in the video below as well as offer a message of female strength:
ILLMA GORE DEPOSITION UPDATE
In October, Illma Gore sat for a court-ordered deposition to discuss her state of mind when circulating false statements that Manson’s short horror film from the 90s ‘Groupie’ contained abuse of a minor. This is not true.
As mentioned, the actress that appeared in the film was over the age of 21 and fully consented to everything that happened within the fictionalized scenario that was produced for entertainment. Marilyn Manson’s lead attorney Howard E. King asked Gore questions her communications when talking about this film and her story flip flops a bit throughout the conversation. She is also asked about tweets she published in March 2022 in response to receiving Manson’s lawsuit where she said to “Bring it on you rapist pedophile f*cker”.
The tweets were soon after deleted but sat public for at least three hours – providing ample opportunity for many to see and screenshot them.
Gore acknowledges that yes those tweets were intended towards Manson.
HIGHLIGHTS FROM HER DEPOSITION
- Illma Gore flip-flops on her timeline – specifically when an ‘anonymous’ person reached out to her indicating that the actress in Groupie was underage at the time and possibly committed suicide. First she says this was 2016 – 2017 but then she switches to 2018 – 2019. Which is it?
- Gore shares that she has not seen Groupie (she’s also never even met Manson) so her knowledge about the film comes strictly from third parties. She says she discussed the film with the anonymous person who DMed her as well as actress Evan Rachel Wood, actress Esme Bianco, model/actress Ashley Morgan Smithline, ex personal assistant for Manson Ashley Walters and a “Jane Doe”
- Gore states she thinks a simulated sex act with an underage actress is a serious allegation but says she doesn’t find it derogatory in nature as a rumor to spread
- Gore denies ever speaking to Michele Meyer – owner of the phone number on the fake FBI letter – about the Groupie video. Meyer submitted a sworn statement to the contrary, sharing in October 2020 Gore told her about the film featuring a 16 year old actress who went onto commit suicide from the trauma endured and that the film was under investigation by the FBI
- Manson’s attorney Howard E. King started to play an audio he stated was a conversation between Gore and Michele Meyer – asking Gore if she recognized her voice. Her attorney objected and that line of questioning was dropped for now.
- Manson’s Lawsuit Against Gore
- Gore’s Anti-Slapp Motion
- Manson’s Opposition to Gore Anti-Slapp
- Pola Weiss Declaration (Groupie Actress)
- Michele Meyer Declaration
- Gore’s Attorney Declaration with Portion of Deposition Transcript
- Longer Portion of Illma Gore Deposition Transcript
Note: Edited on 1/2/23 with updated information from deposition transcript Illma Gore’s counsel filed in court in Dec. 2022.