Evan Rachel Wood Manipulated Marilyn Manson Accuser Into Making False Allegations?

Marilyn Manson's former assistant Ashley Morgan Smithline drops sexual assault allegations, claiming that Evan Rachel Wood manipulated her into lying about the claims.

By Melissa Murphy | Updated

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In February of 2021, Marilyn Manson’s ex-girlfriend, Evan Rachel Wood, filed a lawsuit against him, claiming the singer sexually assaulted her. Shortly after, five other women, including Game of Thrones actress Esme Bianco, a former assistant, and Ashely Morgan Smithline, filed similar suits. The case recently got flipped on its head after Ashely Morgan Smithline came out stating that her allegations were false and she had been pressured into them by Evan Rachel Wood, according to a report by Billboard.

In her new filing, Ashley Morgan Smithline reveals how Evan Rachel Wood and others manipulated her to make a false accusation of sexual assault against the rockstar Marilyn Manson. She claims that after a while, she became convinced that the accusations were true and was unable to remember if the events had actually occurred or were a fabrication. After being repeatedly told that she was just misremembering the events, Smithline slowly became more convinced that they had happened.

That is until last month when Ashley Morgan Smithline fired her lawyer and got her case dismissed. In March of 2022, Marilyn Manson filed a defamation lawsuit against Evan Rachel Wood and another accusor, Illma Gore. In his suit, Manson claimed that the two orchestrated the plan and recruited women to come out simultaneously with false accusations. 

Now, Ashley Morgan Smithline is coming out with her own story that corroborates the events laid out in Marilyn Manson’s suit. Smithline claims that she was initially contacted by Evan Rachel Wood and other alleged victims and manipulated into believing she had been sexually assaulted by the singer. Illma Gore allegedly drafted an accusation statement for her and posted it to social media. 

marilyn manson

Gore then set her up with Esme Bianco’s lawyer, Jay Ellwanger. Ellwanger allegedly pressured her into a publicity tour where she shared the fabricated story with media outlets, including The View and People Magazine. She now maintains that the contents of her allegations are false and she was coerced into filing the lawsuit.

Ashley Morgan Smithline left no names out of her declaration, naming Evan Rachel Wood, Illma Gore, Esme Bianco, and Jay Ellwanger as the people who encouraged and manipulated her into spreading false accusations. This has prompted a few people to speak out against these claims. Lawyer Jay Ellwanger denies the accusations, calling them “categorically and verifiably false.”

Evan Rachel Wood’s response came through a spokesperson who claims Ashley Morgan Smithline reached out to Wood first and maintains that she was not manipulated by Wood. The statement goes on to defend Evan Rachel Wood, claiming that Smithline gave in after harassment over her case and that her accusations are false. 

Evan Rachel Wood is currently working to get Manson’s defamation case thrown out, citing California’s anti-SLAPP statute. The statute aims to make it easier for lawsuits that threaten free speech to get dismissed. Wood claims that Marilyn Manson’s lawsuit was filed to punish her for speaking out on her abuse. 

However, with Ashley Morgan Smithline’s new statement corroborating Manson’s allegations, it appears that the ani-SLAPP motion is likely to be denied. Only time will tell what the outcome of both lawsuits will end up being.