Model Ashley Morgan Smithline has shared a statement recanting her “false” sexual assault allegations made against Marilyn Manson in 2021.
In an interview with People, Smithline detailed her allegations against the singer, claiming he raped her, cut her and locked her in a glass, soundproofed room.
At the start of this year, the sexual assault case was dismissed by a court in California. The suit was dropped after Smithline’s lawyer withdrew as her representation in October 2022, and she did not meet a deadline of December to acquire new representation or represent herself.
Yesterday (February 23), Smithline filed a declaration in Los Angeles Superior Court saying that she was “manipulated” by people including another one of Manson’s accusers, Evan Rachel Wood, to go public with the allegations, which Smithline calls “false”.
“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 in the declaration, as seen by People.
She went on to claim that she was “repeatedly gaslit” by Wood, and her new declaration stated that she had a “brief, consensual sexual relationship” with Manson in 2010.
“I remember [Wood] asked me whether I had been, among other things, whipped, chained, tied up, branded/cut, assaulted while sleeping, beaten, or raped,” Smithline wrote. “She said all of these things happened to Ms. Wood and others, and that when Ms. Wood was with [Manson] 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.”
Smithline went on to say that Wood and others suggested that she might “just be misremembering” her encounters with Manson, or “repressing” memories of that time.
She wrote: “Eventually, I started to believe that what I was repeatedly told happened to Ms. Wood and Ms. Bianco happened to me.”
In a statement shared with People, a representative for Wood said: “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.”
Manson has strongly denied all sexual misconduct claims made against him.
Earlier this year, Game Of Thrones actor Esmé Bianco and Manson reached an out-of-court settlement in her sexual assault lawsuit against the musician. She went public with her accusations in February 2021, claiming the singer’s alleged abuse between 2009 and 2011 had made her “[feel] like a prisoner”.
The exact terms of the settlement have not been revealed, but in a statement provided to NME, Bianco’s lawyer confirmed the actor had agreed to resolve her claims against Brian Warner and Marilyn Manson Records, Inc. in order to move on with her life and career”.