Marilyn Manson Accuser Recants Sexual Assault Allegation, Blames Evan Rachel Wood

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One of the many women who’ve accused Marilyn Manson of sexual assault has recanted.

Ashley Morgan Smithline alleged in May 2021 that the musician raped, brainwashed, and cut her during their relationship. She was one of more than a dozen women who accused Manson, whose real name is Brian Warner, of sexual assault.

In a legal filing obtained Thursday by Page Six, however, Smithline recanted her story. She also claimed Evan Rachel Wood, who first outed Manson as her alleged abuser in February 2021, “manipulated” the model into filing her allegation in the first place.

“I succumbed to pressure from Evan Rachel Wood and her associates to make accusations of rape and assault against [Manson] that were not true,” said Smithline in the new legal filing obtained by the outlet.

Smithline claimed she was welcomed into group meetings with other Manson victims in 2020 and repeatedly told by participants that she was “whipped, chained, tied up, branded, cut, assaulted while sleeping, beaten, or raped” by Manson but couldn’t remember it.

Smithline claimed she told them “this did not happen to me,” but alleged Wood kept suggesting “just because she could not remember” that it “did not necessarily mean that it did not happen” and allegedly told Smithline she had merely “repressed” those memories.

Manson has been accused by more than a dozen women of sexual impropriety.
Manson has been accused by more than a dozen women of sexual impropriety.

Manson has been accused by more than a dozen women of sexual impropriety.

“While at first, I knew Mr. Warner did not do these things to me, I eventually began to question whether he actually did,” claimed Smithline in the filing.

A representative for Wood did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Smithline said she was so convinced that she allowed Wood’s partner Illma Gore to post “untrue statements” about “violence and non-consensual sexual activity” to her Instagram in February 2021. Smithline became the fourth woman to sue Manson in June of that year.

Smithline’s lawsuit alleged sexual assault, sexual battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, human trafficking, unlawful imprisonment and more, Rolling Stone reported. She claimed Manson promised to cast her in a film, only for an abusive relationship to begin.

On “The View” in June 2021, Smithline claimed Manson “had sex with my unconscious body” and “made it clear that my life was definitely in danger.” She alleged in her filing that Wood “advised her” to come forward. Smithline’s case was dismissed last month.

“She was a reluctant participant from the get-go,” Howard King, Manson’s attorney, told Page Six. “For a moment in time, having been questioned so many times by Evan Rachel Wood about this ‘repressed memory’...she believed it for a minute.”

Smithline alleged Wood (pictured)
Smithline alleged Wood (pictured)

Smithline alleged Wood (pictured) "manipulated" her into filing the accusation against Manson.

King added Smithline’s attorney Jay Ellwanger was “given to her” by Esmé Bianco, a fellow Manson accuser who settled out of court in January. Ellwanger allegedly drafted Smithline’s complaint “without talking to her about what the factual allegations were” before filing it.

Smithline also echoed King’s statement to Page Six that she wasn’t being paid to recant her accusation and said she felt “manipulated by Ms. Wood, Ms. Gore, Ms. Bianco, and Mr. Ellwanger to spread publicly false accusations of abuse against Mr. Warner.”

While not all of the dozen-plus women who’ve accused Manson of sexual impropriety have taken their claims to court, there are two women — one of whom was a teenager when Manson allegedly assaulted her — whose lawsuits remain lodged.

Need help? Visit RAINN’s National Sexual Assault Online Hotline or the National Sexual Violence Resource Center’s website.