Judge Rules Out Former Marilyn Manson Accuser’s Statement Renouncing Abuse As Evidence

Rama, CC BY-SA 2.0 FR , via Wikimedia Commons
Published on:

Almost a week ago, Ashely Smithline – who was one of the women to come forward and accuse Marilyn Manson of sexual abuse – filed a statement renouncing accusations she had previously made about him. Among the comments she provided, she expressed that she had been “manipulated” by Evan Rachel Wood to “spread publicly false accusations of abuse” about Manson.

Manson’s attorneys displayed interest in using Smithline’s statement as evidence against Wood, but per a recent report from Pitchfork, a judge has dismissed Smithline’s statement as evidence.

In response to Smithline’s recent filing, Wood filed a new legal declaration, with her denying that she had ever “manipulated” Smithline. Per that declaration, Wood shared the following:

“I never pressured or manipulated Ashley Morgan Smithline to make any accusations against Plaintiff Brian Warner [legal name of Marilyn Manson], and I certainly never pressured or manipulated her to make accusations that were not true. It was Ms. Smithline who first contacted me in March 2019.”

Reportedly, text messages, DMs, and voicemails from throughout the last three years – all from Smithline – were filed along with this statement, which Wood says proves Smithline lied in her recent statement. Also submitted alongside this statement, Wood’s attorneys provided email correspondence that purportedly displays a timeline where Manson’s legal team sent out Smithline’s recent statement to media outlets on February 22nd, which was a day before Smithline’s statement was actually filed in court (Pitchfork does note that Manson’s team sent them the statement after it was filed in court).

In response to Smithline’s statement, Wood’s attorneys said that “Smithline’s timeline is disproven by documented evidence,” and that Smithline “faced pressure and harassment after filing her federal lawsuit, including from plaintiff’s attorneys”; Wood’s attorneys also said that Smithline’s statement is inadmissible due to being electronically “Docusigned” and that “Smithline does not demonstrate outrageous conduct by defendants.”

Wood’s attorneys also brought up how Manson’s legal team didn’t request to depose Smithline when they had the opportunity in discovery. During a hearing that took place this past Tuesday, a judge overseeing this case brought this point up to Manson’s attorney, with the attorney claiming that the legal team decided not to depose Smithline because the judge had denied multiple deposition requests and had claimed “it wouldn’t have made a difference” (this was noted per a recent Rolling Stone report).

In response to this, the judge reportedly said, “We don’t know that. But you didn’t do it so we are where we are. Even with that, there really is no explanation as to why this is bubbling up at this time.”

Howard King, an attorney representing Manson, shared the following in a statement: “It is unsurprising that Evan Rachel Wood is desperately fighting to keep Ashley Smithline’s testimony out of court—because she knows the truth will expose her plot to manipulate the women who trusted her in order to destroy Brian Warner. Brian Warner never abused anyone. Ashley Smithline has told the truth. It’s sadly predictable that Evan Rachel Wood—someone who has already filed a forged FBI letter under oath in other court proceedings—remains committed to not doing the same.”

Per evidence submitted by Wood, there is reportedly a message from Smithline saying that King had reached out to Smithline in an effort to arrange a conversation between her and Manson. King says she reached out to him (King) initially, and that “I never discussed Ashley Smithline’s claims against Brian Warner until after she had reached out to me and terminated her counsel.”

He then went on to share that the two-hour taped conversation between him and Smithline “proves that every single thing in her declaration was taken from her words, not mine.”

Attorneys representing Illma Gore (Wood’s girlfriend, who Manson is suing alongside Wood) labeled Ashley Smithline’s statement part of Manson and his legal team’s “public relations campaign,” and said it’s an example of “frivolous litigation tactics.” They also went on to add the following:

“Their attempt to introduce a new declaration that provides no real evidentiary support for his case is another example of their abuse of the judicial system, and one this Court should not allow…. It is ironic that Plaintiff now urges the importance of Ms. Smithline’s declaration and credibility after he himself called her a liar for two years.”

More on this story as it develops.

If you or someone you care about is suffering abuse at the hands of their partner, please contact RAINN or call 800.656.HOPE (4673). Remember: you are not alone.

Evan Rachel Wood Denies 'Manipulating' Marilyn Manson Accuser, Provides Evidence

Marilyn Manson Sued For Sexual Assault and Grooming of a Minor

"This is part of the retaliation that keeps survivors quiet": Evan Rachel Woods Responds To Manson Lawsuit