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Marilyn Manson accuser Ashley Morgan Smithline has recanted her sexual abuse allegations against the musician.
In a Los Angeles Superior Court filing, Smithline states she was “manipulated” by actress and ex-Manson fiancée Evan Rachel Wood and others to accuse Manson of sexual and physical abuse. “I succumbed to pressure from Evan Rachel Wood and her associates to make accusations of rape and assault against [Manson] that were not true,” she says in the Feb. 19 declaration that has been obtained by The Hollywood Reporter.
The statement, part of a lawsuit from Manson against Wood and Illma Gore, comes a month after a separate lawsuit against Manson from Smithline was dismissed. Smithline tells the court that she had a “brief, consensual sexual relationship with Brian Warner,” who is also known as Marilyn Manson, in Nov. 2010.
But ten years later, Smithline said she was contacted to take part in a group of women alleging sexual abuse from Manson after being in relationships with the rocker, and this included “many conversations” with actress Wood.
“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 writes. “Looking back, I feel I was manipulated by Ms. Wood, Ms. Gore, Ms. [Esmé] Bianco and Mr. Ellwanger to spread publicly false accusations of abuse against Mr. Warner.”
Gore and Bianco have been involved in lawsuits against the singer that allege sexual abuse. Manson, who has denied the accusations against him, saw the lawsuit from Smithline dismissed after she missed a filing deadline.
The Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office is still considering whether to file criminal charges against Manson for alleged sex crimes that occurred between 2009 and 2011 in West Hollywood. Since the statute of limitations for rape in California is 10 years, it may be too late to bring a criminal case against Manson for those alleged assaults.
A spokesperson for Wood denied pressure had ever been put on Smithline. “Evan never pressured or manipulated Ashley. It was Ashley who first contacted Evan about the abuse she suffered. It’s unfortunate that the harassment and threats Ashely received after filing her federal lawsuit appear to have pressured her to change her testimony,” a statement obtained by THR said.
Feb. 27, 8 a.m. Updated with a statement from a representative for Evan Rachel Wood.
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