Evan Rachel Wood

Evan Rachel Wood has refuted Ashley Morgan Smithline’s claim that she “manipulated” her into making false accusations against Marilyn Manson in 2020.

It comes after Smithline last week recanted her “false” sexual assault allegations against the singer from a 2021 interview with People. The model alleged in the article that Manson raped her, cut her and locked her in a glass, soundproofed room.

Last month, 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.

Smithline filed a declaration in Los Angeles Superior Court last Thursday (February 24), saying that she was “manipulated” by Wood and other people to go public with the allegations, which Smithline said were “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, claiming that she was “repeatedly gaslit” by Wood.

Smithline also stated in the latest declaration that she had a “brief, consensual sexual relationship” with Manson in 2010.

Marilyn Manson
Marilyn Manson. CREDIT: Taylor Hill/FilmMagic

As Rolling Stone reports, Wood has claimed in a new legal declaration that the model had first reached out to her in 2019. Wood provided Instagram screenshots dating back to that year, as well as text messages, DMs and voicemails from the past three years.

She said this evidence proved that Smithline lied in her recent legal filing, and denied ever manipulating her.

Additionally, Wood provided a 2022 voicemail from Smithline to a friend in which she said she believed Manson’s attorney Howard King wanted her to “turn on the other girls and say it was all a ruse”.

The filing also referred to a comment Smithline left on a 2019 post that saw Wood open up about being a victim of domestic abuse. The actor alleged that Manson had abused her while “making her watch a particular scene from Rules Of Attraction“.

Smithline wrote: “When he had me captive in the stupid ballet studio, I cringed hearing him brag about replaying that scene from Rules Of Attraction to you. I thought no one would ever talk about this.”

It is also reported that the model sent a DM to Wood on Instagram following the publication of her interview with People. “I can’t breathe. I have no reason to make this up,” it read, with Wood replying: “Don’t let anybody get to you. Just sit in your truth.”

Screenshots of the messages sent to Wood after the interview saw Smithline claim she was being harassed by Manson fans. “[I]t take a special kind of person to threaten rape and abuse victims with rape and abuse,” she wrote, adding: “It’s been relentless.”

Marilyn Manson performing live onstage
Marilyn Manson CREDIT: Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Wood’s new filing reads: “The real pressure Smithline faced was not to make allegations against Plaintiff—it was to retract them. Smithline’s declaration is therefore wholly unreliable.”

In addition to the messages, the attached evidence includes two voicemails that Smithline left a friend in June 2022. She claimed in the audio messages that Manson’s attorney King had called to speak to her “one on one”, and that she thought he wanted her to retract her allegations.

Neither King nor Wood’s attorney, Michael Kump, responded to Rolling Stone‘s request for comment.

Smithline told the outlet: “Evan’s full of shit. That’s my comment. She’s saying anything she can to discredit me.”

Smithline wrote in her previous declaration that Wood and others suggested that she might “just be misremembering” her encounters with Manson, or “repressing” memories from that time.

“Eventually, I started to believe that what I was repeatedly told happened to Ms. Wood and Ms. [Esmé] Bianco happened to me,” she wrote.

In a statement shared with People, a representative for Wood responded: “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 Manson and Marilyn Manson Records, Inc. “in order to move on with her life and career”.

For help, advice or more information regarding sexual harassment, assault and rape in the UK, visit the Rape Crisis charity website. In the US, visit RAINN.

The post Evan Rachel Wood hits back at claim she ‘manipulated’ Marilyn Manson accuser appeared first on NME.


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