Evan Rachel Wood Defends Pressure Accuser of Marilyn Manson Who Recanted
Ashley Morgan Smithline, a former accuser of musician Brian Warner, said she was coerced into making her original charges, which the ‘Westworld’ actress rejects in court.
As Marilyn Manson accuser Ashley Morgan Smithline recanted her statement earlier this month, Evan Rachel Wood claims she never forced her to make allegations against the musician.
In response to Smithline’s earlier lawsuit, Wood stated in a declaration filed Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court and obtained by The Hollywood Reporter that she had no contact with Smithline prior to an Oct. 21, 2020, “gathering of survivors” shot for the HBO documentary Phoenix Rising.
She went on to say, “I had not met her, I had not talked with her, and I had no idea who she was” prior to Smithline posting on one of Wood’s March 2019 posts in which the actress recounted the claimed abuse she suffered at the hands of a man she would later expose to be Manson (legally known as Brian Warner).
That comment, along with several exhibits of Smithline’s social media interactions with the Westworld actress included in the court petition, prompted Wood to deny having any effect on Smithline’s charges and their eventual withdrawal.
“I never coerced or manipulated Ashley Morgan Smithline to make any charges against Plaintiff Brian Warner, and I certainly never pressured or manipulated her to make false accusations,” Wood stated in the declaration. a) a) b) c) d) e) e) e) e) e) e) e)
The documents are part of Manson’s lawsuit against Wood and Illma Gore, and they come a month after Smithline’s separate action against Manson was dropped. Smithline alleged in her own Los Angeles Superior Court stated that she was “manipulated” by Wood and others into accusing Manson of sexual and physical assault.
“I succumbed to pressure from Evan Rachel Wood and her associates to make false charges of rape and assault against [Manson],” she said in a Feb. 19 declaration obtained by THR.
Smithline stated in her statement that she had a “short, consenting sexual relationship with Brian Warner,” also known as Marilyn Manson, in November 2010. Smithline also recanted her previous allegations against Warner, in which she claimed, among other things, that he committed sexual assault, sexual battery, deliberate infliction of emotional distress, human trafficking, and unlawful confinement.
Wood cites screenshots of alleged Instagram private messages between herself and Smithline in her filing and rebuttal while denying she had pressed Smithline. This includes a May 5, 2021, communication following a People magazine interview in which Wood accused Manson of sexual and physical assault.
“I can’t breathe. I have no motive to make this up!” Smithline appeared to notify Wood in an Instagram private message included in Wood’s L.A. court petition. “It stings to see how careless people can be,” Smithline apparently continued at the time, as Wood attempted to reassure her.