Former Marilyn Manson Accuser’s Recantation Can’t Be Evidence in Evan Rachel Wood Case, Judge Decides

Last week in the defamation court case against Evan Rachel Wood and Illma Gore, Marilyn Manson’s legal team filed a declaration statement from Ashley Morgan Smithline. Smithline, whose sexual assault lawsuit against Manson was dismissed in January, recanted her assault allegations against Manson in the declaration and claimed that she was “manipulated” by Wood and Gore to make false accusations. Today, a judge denied Manson’s application to include Smithline’s declaration as evidence, court documents viewed by Pitchfork confirm.

Shortly after Smithline’s declaration was filed, a representative for Wood released a statement in response. Wood filed a declaration herself in court on Monday, which reiterated the same points: “I never pressured or manipulated Ashley Morgan Smithline to make any accusations against Plaintiff Brian Warner, and I certainly never pressured or manipulated her to make accusations that were not true. It was Ms. Smithline who first contacted me in March 2019.” Wood submitted screenshots of alleged Instagram DMs between Smithline and Wood as evidence.

Wood’s attorneys also submitted email correspondence that purportedly shows a timeline where Manson’s team distributed Smithline’s declaration to media outlets on February 22, one day before it was filed in court. (A member of Manson’s legal team emailed the declaration to Pitchfork after the motion was filed.) Wood’s attorneys argue that “Smithline’s timeline is disproven by documented evidence,” that she “faced pressure and harassment after filing her federal lawsuit, including from plaintiff’s attorneys,” that the declaration is inadmissible because it was electronically “DocuSigned,” and that “Smithline does not demonstrate outrageous conduct by defendants.” They also note that Manson’s team didn’t request to depose Smithline previously when granted the opportunity in discovery.

After the judge asked Manson’s attorney during Tuesday’s hearing why they didn’t seek to depose Smithline, the attorney claimed that they didn’t because the judge denied multiple deposition requests and claimed “it wouldn’t have made a difference,” Rolling Stone reports. “We don’t know that,” the judge responded. “But you didn’t do it so we are where we are. Even with that, there really is no explanation as to why this is bubbling up at this time.” 

“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,” Manson’s attorney Howard King said in a statement. “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.”

King also claimed that Smithline reached out to him initially , not the other way around. “I never discussed Ashley Smithline’s claims against Brian Warner until after she had reached out to me and terminated her counsel,” adding that a two-hour taped conversation between them “proves that every single thing in her declaration was taken from her words, not mine.”

 “Evan’s full of shit. That’s my comment,” Smithline told Rolling Stone. “She’s saying anything she can to discredit me.”

Gore’s attorneys dubbed Smithline’s declaration part of Manson and his lawyers’ “public relations campaign” and an example of “frivolous litigation tactics.” They continue: “Their attempt to introduce a new declaration that provides no real evidentiary support for his case is another example of their abuse of the judicial system, and one this Court should not allow.  … It is ironic that Plaintiff now urges the importance of Ms. Smithline’s declaration and credibility after he himself called her a liar for two years.”

Pitchfork has reached out to Wood’s representatives for comment on today’s hearing.

(Visited 2 times, 1 visits today)

About The Author

You might be interested in


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *