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Evan Rachel Wood Denies Manipulating Woman Who Recently Recanted Her Sexual Assault, Etc. Allegations Against Marilyn Manson (Updated)


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Update: February 28th, 2023 09:18 PM:

Today, February 28th saw a judge deny Manson‘s legal team’s attempt to enter the recent declaration made by Ashley Smithline Morgan, in which she recanted her past allegations against Manson, as evidence in Manson‘s ongoing defamation suit against Evan Rachel Wood and Ilma Gore. It would appear that Manson‘s legal team’s decision to not previously depose Smithline was a big factor in the judge’s decision.

Wood and Gore are presently attempting to have Manson‘s defamation suit dismissed on the grounds of an anti-SLAPP statute—a measure taken to dismiss lawsuits that can be filed to intimidate or financially burden critics into abandoning their claims.

Manson‘s attorney Howard King issued a statement on this latest development, offering:

“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. 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.”

An April 14th hearing is currently set to determine whether or not Manson‘s defamation suit qualifies as a SLAPP lawsuit against Wood and Gore.

Original Story:

Evan Rachel Wood has fought back against the recent claims that she and her associate Ilma Gore coaxed and manipulated several women into coming forward with allegations of sexual assault & abuse against Marilyn Manson (aka Brian Warner).

Manson‘s camp has long claimed that Wood and Gore served as the ringleaders behind the numerous allegations of sexual assault/abuse that have been made against Manson since 2021. A wave of over a dozen similar allegations were launched against Manson in the days that followed Wood publicly coming forward against him back in February of 2021.

While Wood had previously spoken publicly about being abused, she hadn’t publicly named Manson as her allegedly abuser until then.

The alleged incidents Wood described were said to have taken place roughly a decade earlier, when Wood and Manson were engaged. In light of the allegations, Manson himself would soon find himself dropped by his management, label, talent agency, while also being removed from several other projects he had in the works.

Several of his accusers would go on to file lawsuits against him, including Ashley Morgan Smithline. In the summer of 2021, Smithline launched this lawsuit against Manson, claiming that the 54-year-old shock rocker committed a lengthy list of offenses against her: including sexual assault, sexual battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, unlawful imprisonment and violations of both the Bane Act and the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act.

However, in a surprising turn, last week it was revealed that Smithline had officially recanted her allegations in a statement issued to the court last week. In that statement, which you can read here, Smithline claimed that she was manipulated and coached into making the allegations by Wood and Gore. She Further stated that the lawsuit in question was filed without so much as her even being given a draft of it to approve prior to its filing.

In her statement, Smithline further went on to add, “I never intended to pursue criminal charges against Mr. Warner and have no intention now of ever pursuing criminal charges, as Mr. Warner did not ever assault or abuse me.”

Smithline‘s suit had previously been dismissed this past January due to her having not secured proper legal representation to see it proceed, after having parted ways with her attorney last year.

Her recantation seemingly lent credence to Manson‘s defamation suit against Wood and Gore. In that lawsuit, which was filed back in early 2022, Manson claimed that Wood and Gore had been coaxing and manipulating women into coming forward against Manson, going so far as to allegedly ‘swat’ his residence and impersonate an FBI agent to further their cause.

In a new legal declaration filed yesterday, February 27th, Wood provided a statement, along with screenshots and comments dating back to 2019 of conversations she had with Smithline. Rolling Stone obtained a copy of this new declaration and summed it up as follows:

Wood denied ever manipulating model Ashley Morgan Smithline and provided Instagram screenshots of comments from Smithline left on Wood’s Instagram in 2019, messages between Smithline and Wood where the model stood by her accusations against Manson, and a 2022 voicemail from Smithline to a friend in which she said she believed Manson‘s attorney wanted her to ‘turn on the other girls and say it was all a ruse.’

Several comments and messages exchanged between Wood and Smithline were provided, including a 2019 comment Smithline made on a post Wood had shared about being a victim of domestic abuse. Per that delcaration, Smithline is claimed to have stated to Wood:

“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. I thought no one would ever talk about this.”

A separate comment sent to Wood following Smithline‘s interview with People magazine, found Smithline allegedly stating, “I can’t breathe. I have no reason to make this up.” It is further stated that Smithline had claimed to Wood to be suffering harassment from Manson fans in the wake of going public with her allegations against him. She allegedly told Wood of that, “[I]t take a special kind of person to threaten rape and abuse victims with rape and abuse…”

Wood also provided a voicemail Smithline allegedly sent to a friend in June of 2022. In it, Smithline was alleged to have stated, “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.’ 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.”

Another alleged text message of a conversation between Manson‘s attorney Howard King and Smithline allegedly saw King stating, “Closure is important to Brian and he thinks you can help each other.” In light of the declaration and evidence provided, Wood‘s legal team are seeking to have Smithline‘s recantation declared “wholly unreliable.”

They allege that Smithline was under pressure by Manson‘s camp to retract her allegations. Reached for comment in response to Wood‘s new declaration, Smithline told Rolling Stone, “Evan‘s full of shit. That’s my comment. She’s saying anything she can to discredit me.”

This past January saw Manson reach a settlement with actress Esmé Bianco, who had accused him of sexual assault, abuse and more in a lawsuit she filed in April of 2021. Meanwhile, a similar lawsuit filed against him by his former personal assistant Ashley Walters was dismissed back in May of 2022.

Outside of his ongoing defamation suit against Wood and Gore, Manson still currently faces a sexual assault lawsuit filed by an anonymous woman in 2021. He also faces recently filed sexual assault of a minor lawsuit. The woman accusing him in that suit alleges the incidents took place back in the 1990s.

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