Evan Rachel Wood has made a legal filing denying that she “manipulated” Ashley Morgan Smithline into making accusations of abuse against Marilyn Manson, Rolling Stone reports.
As previously reported by Billboard, Smithline recanted her allegations against Manson, born Brian Warner, in a legal filing earlier this month amid Warner’s ongoing defamation lawsuit against Wood. Smithline was one of several women who sued Warner over allegations of abuse after Wood, who’d previously been engaged to the musician, wrote that he “horrifically abused [her] for years” in a February 2021 Instagram post.
In recanting her allegations, Smithline, who said in a May 2021 People interview that Warner sexually assaulted her, said she “succumbed to pressure from Evan Rachel Wood and her associates to make accusations of rape and assault against Mr. Warner that were not true.”
Provided in Wood’s filing, which was obtained by Rolling Stone, are screenshots of Instagram direct messages between her and Smithline and a screenshot of a text purportedly sent by Warner’s lawyer, Howard King, to Smithline. Additionally, Wood provides a voicemail in which Smithline reportedly tells a friend that King reached out to her asking to 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,” Smithline says, according to the filing.
“The real pressure Smithline faced was not to make allegations against Plaintiff — it was to retract them,” the filing says. “Smithline’s declaration is therefore wholly unreliable.”
In a statement to Rolling Stone, Smithline says, “Evan’s full of s***. That’s my comment. She’s saying anything she can to discredit me.” Lawyers for Warner and Wood did respond to Rolling Stone‘s request for comment.
Smithline’s lawsuit against Warner was dismissed in January 2023. Other lawsuits against Warner filed by actor Esmé Bianco and Warner’s former assistant Ashley Walters were settled and dismissed, respectively. Warner still faces lawsuits from anonymous Jane Does.
Since Wood’s initial Instagram post, Warner has denied all allegations. Warner filed his defamation suit against Wood in March 2022 leading up to the premiere of her documentary Phoenix Rising, in which she makes further allegations against him.
If you are affected by abuse and needing support, or know someone who is, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233, or the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673). You can also chat online at thehotline.org or online.rainn.org, respectively.
Copyright © 2023, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.