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"I succumbed to pressure from Evan Rachel Wood."

marilyn manson

The case against Marilyn Manson (real name Brian Warner) brought forth by model Ashley Morgan Smithline was dismissed in January, but it goes a little deeper than that now.

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In a statement issued to Billboard, Smithline claims her accusations against Manson were not true and that she was "manipulated" by Manson's former girlfriend and accuser Evan Rachel Wood. "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," said Smithline. "Eventually, I started to believe that what I was repeatedly told happened to Ms. Wood and [others] also happened to me."

Smithline's case was dismissed after attorney Jay Ellwanger backed out of representing her in October. Judge Fernando L. Aenlle-Rocha offered Smithline 90 days to either hire a new attorney or represent herself, of which she did neither by the December 5 deadline. The case was officially dismissed without prejudice on Tuesday, January 3.

A spokesperson for Wood denies Smithline's claims, saying Wood never manipulated Smithline. "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."

Smithline accused Manson of of sexual assault, human trafficking, and unlawful imprisonment in a cover story for People in May 2021.

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Manson filed a lawsuit against Wood for defamation, emotional distress, and "impersonation over the internet" in May 2022. In the lawsuit, Manson accused Wood and her friend Illma Gore of conspiring to paint Manson as "a rapist and abuser." This lawsuit from Manson surfaces only a few weeks after Wood's documentary Phoenix Rising was announced to be released on HBO. Wood has since questioned the timing of Manson's lawsuit.

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