Marilyn Manson abuse accuser says she was ‘manipulated’ into making false claims

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Marilyn Manson The Art Of Elysium's 13th Annual Celebration - Heaven - Arrivals
Marilyn Manson attends The Art Of Elysium's 13th Annual Celebration - Heaven at Hollywood Palladium on January 04, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Well, this is an unexpected twist. A former girlfriend who had accused Marilyn Manson of abuse has backed away from the allegations in a declaration of support filed in his defamation lawsuit against Evan Rachel Wood.

She claimed that Manson had tied her up and raped her while she slept, drank her blood and carved his initials into her thigh, but has now backtracked on her statements.

Ashley Morgan Smithline alleges that she publicly accused Manson of sexual assault and sexual battery only because Wood pressured her, according to a declaration filed Thursday in Los Angeles County Superior Court.

Evan Rachel Wood 2020 Sundance Film Festival - "Kajillionaire" Premiere
Evan Rachel Wood attends the 2020 Sundance Film Festival – “Kajillionaire” Premiere at Eccles Center Theatre on January 25, 2020 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)

A representative for Wood denied the allegations, saying in a statement that “Evan never pressured or manipulated Ashley.”

Wood has said Manson “horrifically abused” her for years. Manson has denied any wrongdoing.

Manson, whose legal name is Brian Warner, filed a defamation suit last year accusing Wood of having “secretly recruited, coordinated and pressured” women to accuse him of abuse.

Smithline came forward with allegations against Manson in an interview with People magazine in May 2021. She accused him of having subjected her to physical, sexual and psychological abuse from 2010 to 2013.

Manson was accused of whipping Smithline, carving his initials into her body, penetrating her while she was unconscious and other conduct. The People report included a photo of Smithline in a towel, showing what appeared to be a scar on her thigh that she referred to in the interview and alleged was caused by Manson.

Smithline told People that she began to heal only after she spoke with other women about their experiences with Manson in 2020. She said meeting others, including Wood, helped lessen “these feelings of guilt and shame.”

2020 Vanity Fair Oscar Party Hosted By Radhika Jones - Arrivals
BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA – FEBRUARY 09: Marilyn Manson attends the 2020 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Radhika Jones at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on February 09, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

In the new court document, Smithline says she felt “manipulated” by the women to make the allegations. She said in the declaration of support that she had denied being abused when she spoke with Wood in 2020.

“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,” Smithline said in her filing.

Smithline filed a federal lawsuit in 2021 accusing Manson of sexual assault, human trafficking and unlawful imprisonment.

Wood's representative alleges “it was Ashley who first contacted Evan about the abuse she had suffered,” adding, “it’s unfortunate that the harassment and threats Ashley received after filing her federal lawsuit appear to have pressured her to change her testimony.”

A judge dismissed the suit without prejudice last month after her attorney, Jay Ellwanger, withdrew from her case and Smithline failed to respond to the court's request for a decision about new representation.


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