Evan Rachel Wood Denies Pressuring Marilyn Manson Accuser Who Recanted Claim

    Evan Rachel Wood is refuting Ashley Morgan Smithline’s claim that Wood “manipulated” her into making allegations of rape against Marilyn Manson. According to new court documents obtained by Rolling Stone, Wood submitted text messages, DMs, screenshots of Instagram comments, and voicemails dating back to 2019 that, she says, serve as evidence that Smithline was lying when she claimed Wood pressured her into accusing Manson.

    “I never pressured or manipulated Ashley Morgan Smithline to make any accusations against Plaintiff Brian Warner, and I certainly never pressured or manipulated her to make accusations that were not true,” Wood said in a statement filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court on Monday. “It was Ms. Smithline who first contacted me in March 2019.”

    Wood referred to a comment Smithline made on Wood’s Instagram on March 11, 2019, at which time Wood had not publicly named Manson as the alleged perpetrator, nor had she ever met or talked to Smithline. “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,” the comment said, according to the court filing. “I thought no one would ever talk about this.”

    Furthermore, Wood submitted an Instagram DM from 2021, just after People published a cover story detailing the alleged abuse Smithiline suffered while in a relationship with Manson. It read, “I can’t breathe. I have no reason to make this up.” To which Wood replied, “Don’t let anybody get to you. Just sit in your truth.”

    The filing also includes two June 2022 voicemails from Smithline to a friend in which she reports being contacted by Manson’s attorney, Howard King, who she believed wanted her to retract her allegations. “Don’t repeat this to anyone. I swear to God, don’t say this to anyone … but I did get a private message on my cellular telephone from Marilyn Manson’s lawyer saying, ‘I was wondering if we could just talk,’” Smithline said in the voicemail. “The only reason he’d be calling me… is that he thinks I’m the weak link and he might want to settle with me to turn on the other girls and say that it was all a ruse.”

    “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,” King said in a statement. “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.”

    King also denied that he had improperly reached out to Smithline in a statement to People, saying: “I never discussed Ashley Smithline’s claims against Brian Warner until after she had reached out to me and terminated her counsel. Moreover, when Ms. Smithline recently spoke with me for almost two hours, we taped the conversation in full and that recording proves that every single thing in her declaration was taken from her words, not mine.”

    “Evan’s full of shit. That’s my comment,” Smithline told Rolling Stone. “She’s saying anything she can to discredit me.”

    At a hearing on Tuesday, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Teresa A. Beaudet denied Warner’s attorneys’ ex parte application to include Smithline’s declaration as evidence in the case. “There really is no explanation as to why this [declaration] is bubbling up at this time,” the judge said.

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    Konstantinos Pappis
    Konstantinos Pappis
    Konstantinos Pappis is a writer, journalist, and music editor at Our Culture. His work has also appeared in Pitchfork, GIGsoup, and other publications. He currently lives in Athens, Greece.

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