Ashley Morgan Smithline has withdrawn the accusations of sexual assault she had made against Marilyn Manson – whose real name is Brian Warner – in 2021, and has stated that she was influenced by Evan Rachel Wood, who is Manson‘s former partner.
Smithline, who had a relationship with Manson in 2010, issued a following statement: “I succumbed to pressure from Evan Rachel Wood and her associates to make accusations of rape and assault against Mr. Warner that were not true. Eventually, I started to believe that what I was repeatedly told happened to Ms. Wood and [others] also happened to me.”
“Leading up to the filing of the complaint, I felt pressured by Mr. Ellwanger [attorney for actress Esme Bianco, who issued the same allegations against Manson] to go on a press tour, which included an interview on The View and an interview and photoshoot with People magazine. I was very uncomfortable doing this press but felt pressured to do it.”
A representative of Wood addressed the issue, saying: “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‘s attorney Howard King also commented on the issue, saying: “As we have always said, the coordinated campaign of #MeToo lies against Brian Warner is going to go down as one of the greatest hoaxes of all time. Vulnerable women were manipulated by unscrupulous individuals seeking to build their own brands and pursue their own vendettas. This sworn testimony proves it.”