Marilyn Manson Rape Accuser Pressured To Recant Claims, Evan Rachel Wood Asserts; Judge Rejects Singers Attempt To Add New Declaration To Case Against Westworld Actress

In the latest twist in Marilyn Manson’s battle against allegations of sexual crimes, Evan Rachel Wood is not only rejecting claims that she coerced another woman into saying the shock rocker raped her, but that the accuser was pressured to recant..

“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,” says Wood in a declaration filed yesterday in LA Superior Court. “It was Ms. Smithline who first contacted me in March 2019,” states the Westworld actress in the document (read it here).

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“Ms. Smithline has always told me that she was abused by Mr. Warner,” Woods bluntly adds in the social medial exhibit rich declaration.

The recent stark about face by Smithline, a month after her 2021 lawsuit against Manson a.k.a. Warner was dismissed by default, fous attorneys for the much-accused singer and Wood in court today in DTLA in front of a busy Judge Teresa Beaudet over whether the model’s declaration should be allowed in Manson’s March 2022 case against his former fiancée and her abuse allegations. After scolding Manson/Warner’s lawyers for not deposing Smithline earlier, Judge Beaudet told the assembled attorneys in Department 50 that she was going to deny the performer’s motion to have the model’s declaration entered into the case.

As various other cases against Manson settle or are tossed out, Wood’s lawyer Michael J. Kump had said in another filing yesterday that Smithline’s declaration is “inadmissible” and also asserts that any manipulation or pressure came from a source other than his activist client.

“In sum, Plaintiff asks this Court to believe that Smithline was somehow ‘pressured’ into making false accusations when other women shared their experiences with her and allegedly talked about repressed memories (even though Smithline was the one who reached out to Wood about Plaintiff’s abuse),” the Kinsella Weitzman Iser Kump Holley LLP partner declares in a February 27 opposition motion (read it here).  “But the real pressure Smithline faced was not to make allegations against Plaintiff—it was to retract them. Smithline’s declaration is therefore wholly unreliable,” he continues (italics Kump’s) In the screengrabs accompanying Wood’s declaration Smithline appears to indicate repeatedly that Manson’s lawyer Howard King has been trying to get in touch with her.

In the spotlight himself, King insists the focus should be on Woods.

“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,” says the King, Holmes, Paterno & Soriano partner before Tuesday’s hearing. “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.”

Stepping aside for a second of who allegedly pressured who, there is no doubt that model Smithline appears in Phoenix Rising, director Amy Berg’s film about Wood’s allegations against Manson and her decision to go public with the claims from their 2007 – 2010 relationship. Sitting at the heart of Manson’s suit against Woods, Phoenix Rising debuted at the virtual 2022 Sundance Film Festival, the two-part documentary premiered on HBO in the spring of that year – despite Manson’s best legal efforts to shut it down.

The year before, Smithline sued Manson in federal court for sexual assault, sexual battery, human trafficking and more out of their interactions over the course of 2010 to 2013. At the time, Smithline detailed claims of a steady and escalating pattern of abuse from Manson, including choking and cutting her. As he has in all allegations against him, the ‘Beautiful People’ singer denied all the claims.

Losing her own lawyer and missing key court deadlines, Smithline’s case collapsed in early January. Her accusations that it was Woods and her close associate Ashley Gore (who is a co-defendant in Manson’s case) who put notions of abuse in her head soon followed to further muddy the water as did Smithline’s own new declaration.

All of which obfuscates the whole situation even more, no matter if Smithline’s declaration was entered into the case in support of Manson’s moves again Wood’s anti-SLAPP moves or not, the latter’s lawyer predicted.

“Unfortunately, the headlines that Smithline has recanted her accusations against Plaintiff will unjustly boost Plaintiff’s reputation even if his ex parte is denied,” notes Kump in his own motion Monday.

“Indeed, those headlines will likely impact public opinion even after the Smithline declaration is wholly discredited,” the attorney goes on to say. “And it will be discredited. Documented evidence shows that it was Smithline who reached out to Wood about Plaintiff’s abuse more than a year before Smithline now claims Defendants somehow convinced her that she was abused. Plaintiff has therefore failed to meet his burden to demonstrate good cause for the relief sought.”

Manson’s 2022 lawsuit against Wood came just over a year after the past Emmy nominee went online and called out her now 54-year old ex for  “horrifically” abusing and “grooming” during their three year relationship – which took place when Wood was in her teens. Losing his agency, his TV gigs and his record label in quick succession, Manson’s initial response in 2021 was to claim Wood’s allegations were “horrible distortions of reality.”

A year later he made that official with a jury seeking lawsuit.

The next hearing in this case is set for April 11 omn Wood’s anti-SLAPP motions.

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