Evan Rachel Wood ‘Manipulated’ Me

A mannequin who had accused Marilyn Manson of sexual abuse has rescinded her allegations towards the musician—and accused his ex, Evan Rachel Wood, of getting “manipulated” her into leveling the accusations.

Back in 2021, Ashley Morgan Smithline sued Manson, born Brian Warner, for sexual assault, sexual battery, intentional infliction of emotional misery, and illegal imprisonment. Manson has repeatedly denied all allegations towards him.

In January, Smithline’s lawsuit was dismissed with out prejudice by a Los Angeles choose. The complainant failed to decide on to both symbolize herself or rent new authorized illustration following the departure of her lawyer, Jay Ellwanger.

In a brand new sworn assertion filed in Los Angeles Superior Court and obtained by Newsweek, Smithline has claimed that she was pressured by Westworld star Wood and others to go public with allegations that she has now declared “false.”

Marilyn Manson, Evan Rachel Wood
Marilyn Manson is pictured proper on June 11, 2015 in London. Evan Rachel Wood is pictured inset on November 1, 2022 in Brooklyn, New York. A mannequin who beforehand accused Manson of sexual abuse has rescinded her allegations and accused Wood of pressuring her into submitting her lawsuit.
Jo Hale/Redferns by way of Getty Images;/Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images for The Roku Channel

“I succumbed to pressure from Evan Rachel Wood and her associates to make accusations of rape and assault against [Manson] that were not true,” she wrote within the declaration, which was filed on Thursday.

Smithline has alleged that she was “repeatedly gaslit” by Wood, 35, and different girls. These embrace Manson’s former assistant Ashley Walters, who sued the musician for sexual assault, battery, and harassment in 2021; Game of Thrones actress Esmé Bianco, who additionally filed a lawsuit towards Manson; and Wood’s girlfriend Illma Gore.

According to Smithline, she had a “brief, consensual sexual relationship” with Manson, 54, again in November 2010. Ten years later, she mentioned, she was contacted by both Walters or Gore to participate in a gaggle assembly of girls who claimed to have had “relationships or experiences” with Manson.

“During my conversations with [Wood], she described acts allegedly committed by [Manson] against [Wood] and other supposed victims and asked me whether the same things happened to me,” Smithline wrote. “I remember she asked me whether I had been, among other things, whipped, chained, tied up, branded/cut, assaulted while sleeping, beaten, or raped.

“She mentioned all of these items occurred to [Wood] and others, and that when [Wood] was with [Manson] each second was a second of survival. When I mentioned, no this didn’t occur to me and this was not my expertise, I recall being advised by [Wood] that simply because I couldn’t bear in mind didn’t essentially imply that it didn’t occur.”

Smithline went on to state that while she knew that Manson “didn’t do these items to me, I finally I started to query whether or not he really did.” She added that she was told by the women that she “could be misremembering what occurred, repressing my reminiscences of what occurred, or that my reminiscences had not but surfaced—which they mentioned occurred to folks towards whom these acts have been perpetrated.”

“Eventually, I began to imagine that what I used to be repeatedly advised occurred to Ms. Wood and Ms. Bianco occurred to me,” Smithline stated in the declaration.

Marilyn Manson accuser Esmé Biano
Esmé Bianco is pictured on December 10, 2021 in Beverly Hills, California. The “Game of Thrones” actress settled her sexual-abuse lawsuit towards Marilyn Manson in January 2023.
Rich Fury/Rich Fury/Getty Images

A consultant for Wood has denied Smithline’s allegations, telling People in a press release: “Evan never pressured or manipulated Ashley. It was Ashley who first contacted Evan about the abuse she had suffered. It’s unfortunate that the harassment and threats Ashley received after filing her federal lawsuit appear to have pressured her to change her testimony.”

Elsewhere in her declaration, Smithline mentioned that she was inspired by Wood to affix her in going public along with her allegations towards Manson, which she did in an Instagram put up shared in February 2021. Smithline now states that the general public assertion—allegedly written by Gore—and her lawsuit “contained untrue statements” about Manson, “including that there was violence and non-consensual sexual activity.”

She additionally mentioned that Manson had by no means minimize or branded her physique, as had beforehand been claimed in her lawsuit. It was filed at a time that a number of girls got here ahead with comparable allegations towards the shock rocker.

Smithline said that she “never intended to pursue criminal charges” towards Manson. She was not proven the contents of her civil criticism earlier than it was filed by her lawyer Jay Ellwanger. She additionally alleged that she felt “pressured” by the lawyer into occurring a press tour along with her allegations.

“Looking back, I feel I was manipulated by Ms. Wood, Ms. Gore, Ms. Bianco, and Mr. Ellwanger to spread publicly false accusations of abuse against [Manson],” Smithline concluded in her declaration.

Responding to these allegations, Ellwanger advised People his response is “constrained by ethical obligations regarding client confidentiality.” However, he added that claims he pressured Smithline and didn’t present her particulars of the civil criticism “are categorically and verifiably false.”

Evan Rachel Wood, Marilyn Manson's legal battle
Evan Rachel Wood and Marilyn Manson are pictured on September 13, 2007 in New York City. The stars grew to become engaged in 2010, however broke up shortly thereafter.
Scott Wintrow/Getty Images

Wood first publicly named Manson as her alleged abuser in a put up on Instagram on February 1, 2021, by which she mentioned Manson had “horrifically abused [her] for years” and mentioned she was “brainwashed and manipulated” by him.

On the identical day that Wood named Manson publicly, 4 different girls additionally got here ahead. They accused the musician of sexual and bodily violence, in addition to psychological, bodily and emotional abuse.

In May 2022, a Los Angeles choose dismissed a lawsuit filed by Manson’s former assistant Walters. She had initially sued the musician in May 2021, alleging sexual harassment, abuse, sexual battery, intentional infliction of emotional misery and wrongful termination in May 2021, per courtroom paperwork.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael L. Stern said “plaintiff has plead too few facts to keep this case in court, and too late.” The case was dismissed with prejudice, stopping Walters from suing her former employer once more over the identical allegations.

Walters’ lawyer Tanya Sukhija-Cohen had mentioned in courtroom that her consumer, who labored for Manson between 2010 and 2011, “couldn’t exercise her claims because she was unaware they occurred until the memories came back.” Walters attended a assist group assembly with different girls who’ve accused Manson of abusing them.

Bianco additionally filed a lawsuit towards Manson and his file label in 2021. She accused the star of sexual abuse, assault and battery, and human trafficking. Both events agreed to settle the lawsuit in January 2023.

In March 2022, the authorized group representing Manson introduced {that a} defamation lawsuit had been filed towards Wood and “her on-again, off-again romantic partner” Gore in Los Angeles Superior Court.

Manson’s lawyer Howard King advised Newsweek on the time: “This detailed complaint has been filed to stop a campaign of malicious and unjustified attacks on Brian Warner.

“Years after the top of Evan Rachel Wood’s long-term relationship with Warner, she and her girlfriend Illma Gore recruited quite a few girls and satisfied them to make false allegations towards him—claims that Wood and Gore scripted for them.”

Wood and Manson first met when she was 18 and he was 37, and their relationship became public in 2007. They became engaged in 2010, but broke up shortly thereafter.

In 2018, Wood first spoke about the alleged abuse she experienced when testifying in front of U.S. Congress during a hearing of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime with fellow activists. However, she did not name Warner at the time.

Wood then testified in April 2019 in front of the California Senate Public Safety Committee to pass The Phoenix Act. That was a bill that called for the statute of limitations for domestic-violence survivors in the state to be extended from two to four, years to 10 years.

On February 2, 2021, a day after Wood publicly named him as her alleged abuser, Manson shared a statement on social media in which he said: “Obviously, my artwork and my life have lengthy been magnets for controversy, however these latest claims about me are horrible distortions of actuality.

“My intimate relationships have always been entirely consensual with like-minded partners. Regardless of how—and why—others are now choosing to misrepresent the past, that is the truth.”

Newsweek has reached out to representatives of Manson, Wood, Gore, and Ellwanger for remark.

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