Marilyn Manson accuser recants allegations, claims Evan Rachel Wood “manipulated” her
Among the multiple women who accused Marilyn Manson (real name Brian Warner) of sexual misconduct, abuse, and assault was Ashley Morgan Smithline, a former partner of Manson's. She has now recanted the allegations, and claimed she was "manipulated" by Evan Rachel Wood and Wood's partner Illma Gore into making them, Pitchfork reports. Smithline's statement was filed as part of Manson's defamation suit against Wood and Gore, where he claims they "secretly recruited, coordinated, and pressured prospective accusers to emerge simultaneously with allegations of rape and abuse against Warner."
In her declaration, Smithline writes, "I succumbed to pressure from Evan Rachel Wood and her associates to make accusations of rape and assault against Mr. Warner that were not true," continuing, "During my conversations with Ms. Wood, she described acts allegedly committed by Mr. Warner against Ms. Wood and other supposed victims and asked me whether the same things happened to me. 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 said all of these things happened to Ms. Wood and others, and that when Ms. Wood was with Mr. Warner every moment was a moment of survival. When I said, no this did not happen to me and this was not my experience, I recall being told by Ms. Wood that just because I could not remember did not necessarily mean that it did not happen." Read the declaration in full on Pitchfork.
In a statement to People, a representative for Wood denied Smithline's claims, saying, "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."
Smithline's lawsuit against Manson was dismissed without prejudice by a Los Angeles judge earlier this year.
Game of Thrones actress Esmé Bianco, who also sued Manson in 2021 for sexual assault and human trafficking, reached an out of court settlement with him in January. ""Ms. Bianco has agreed to resolve her claims against Brian Warner and Marilyn Manson Records, Inc. in order to move on with her life and career," a statement from her lawyer, Jay Ellwanger, reads.
Most recently, Manson was accused of sexually assaulting and grooming an underage girl in the late 1990s.