Ashley Morgan Smithline, the model that had allegedly been abused by heavy metal icon Marilyn Manson recants her previous sexual abuse claims. A month after the court dismissed her case, she says that actress Evan Rachel Wood and others manipulated her to go forth with the lawsuit that had accused the rocker of psychological, sexual, and physical abuse.
In her declaration, Smithline confesses: “During my conversations with Ms. Wood, she described acts allegedly committed by Mr. Warner against Ms. Wood and other supposed victims and asked me whether the same things happened to me. I remember she asked me whether I had been, among other things, whipped, chained, tied up, branded/cut, assaulted while sleeping, beaten, or raped.”
“She said all of these things happened to Ms. Wood and others, and that when Ms. Wood was with Mr. Warner 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,” admitted the model.
Smithline explained: “I also recall that in one of the group meetings I attended with Ms. Wood and Ms. Gore, Ms. Gore said they could arrange security for anyone who felt in danger from Mr. Warner. I recall that Ms. Bianco said during this discussion that private investigators had been parked outside of her house and probably were parked outside of mine. I also had separate conversations with Ms. Bianco during this time period in which she told me her relationship with Mr. Warner was similar to that described by Ms. Wood. She insisted that I was repressing memories like she and other supposed victims of Mr. Warner had done.”
Wood’s representative denied the allegations: “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 at the time had responded to the accusations: “I never abused, assaulted, raped, threatened, or trafficked any of these women, as they contend. Their accusations against me of abuse, assault, rape, threats and the like are unequivocally false.”
Smithline was one of the 15 other women who had opened up about their experience. Manson had denied all, calling it “horrible distortions of reality.” The 54-year-old musician also filed a defamation lawsuit against Evan Rachel Woods, blaming her for his emotional distress.
Nobody knows how the lawsuit will turn out, but if the allegations are true, it’s disappointing to see that people who need protection are being forced to take a step back and release statements that not only absolve sexual assault perpetrators, but also grant them the power to repeat those atrocities and hurt others as well.