Ashley Morgan Smithline, One of Marilyn Manson’s Accusers, Recants Her Accusations

One of the women who accused Marilyn Manson of sexual assault and abuse alongside the actress Evan Rachel Wood in 2021, Ashley Morgan Smithline (AKA Ashley Lindsay Morgan), says in a new legal filing that the allegations were untrue and that she was “manipulated” by Wood, according to a new report.

Last year, Manson, the rock singer whose real name is Brian Warner, sued Wood, his ex-fiancée, for defamation, claiming she formed a conspiracy against him.


The new statement from Smithline, filed by the singer’s lawyers on Thursday (Feb. 23), claims she was “manipulated by Ms. Wood” to agree to “spread publicly false accusations of abuse” against Manson.

“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,” Smithline writes in the sworn statement, Billboard reported. “I started to believe that what I was repeatedly told happened to Ms. Wood and [others] also happened to me.”

A spokesperson for Wood strongly denied Smithline’s accusations. “Evan never pressured or manipulated Ashley,” they said. “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.”


Two years ago, Wood publicly named Manson as her alleged abuser. Simultaneously, four other women — Smithline, Sarah McNeilly, Ashley Walters and a woman named Gabriella — joined Wood by each sharing their own separate accusations.

Manson has denied all of the allegations. He said, in part, “Obviously, my art and my life have long been magnets for controversy, but these recent claims about me are horrible distortions of reality.”

Smithline sued the musician in June 2021. A judge dismissed the lawsuit earlier this year. Smithline spoke to People about her original claims against Manson.

If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, resources are available to help. Please visit RAINN (the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network) online or dial 1-800-656-HOPE (1-800-656-4673).

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