A woman who had accused Marilyn Manson of psychological and sexual abuse has recanted, claiming fellow accuser, actress Evan Rachel Wood, pressured her into making the false accusations.
Ashley Morgan Smithline, who claimed Manson sexually assaulted her numerous times, has now filed a declaration in support of the musician’s defamation lawsuit against Wood.
“When I said, no this did not happen to me and this was not my experience, I recall being told by Ms. Wood that just because I could not remember did not necessarily mean that it did not happen,” Smithline said in the declaration, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court.
Back in 2021, Smithline told PEOPLE magazine that Manson, real name Brian Warner, carved his initials into her thigh. “I was brainwashed, and it makes me feel disgusting,” the model said. The pair also engaged in a blood pact, she said. “He cut me on my stomach and then drank my blood. Then, he had me drink his,” Smithline claimed. “The more I let him hurt me, the more I loved him and the more I was proving myself to him.”
At the time, Smithline said meeting with Wood and other accusers back in 2020 helped her start the healing process. “Being with the other girls, these feelings of guilt and shame have lessened,” she said.
“I’m not a victim,” Smithline told PEOPLE. “I’m a f***ing survivor. I want people to know who he is, and it’s worth it if not one more woman gets hurt again.”
A representative for Wood told NBC News, “Evan never pressured or manipulated Ashley,” adding that “it was Ashley who first contacted Evan about the abuse she had suffered.”
A lawsuit Smithline filed against Manson was dismissed without prejudice in January after the then-accuser attempted to fire her legal representation and did not find new counsel prior to a deadline.
The lawsuit dismissal means that the suit can be brought forward again in the future. Smithline submitted a motion to withdraw representation in October but didn’t get new lawyers by December 5.
“We thank and commend Ashley Smithline for dismissing her claims against Brian Warner without seeking or receiving anything in return,” Manson’s lawyer, Howard King, said in reaction to the news.
“Ms. Smithline has refused to be manipulated by others who are trying to pursue their own agendas against Mr. Warner. We wish her well and will continue to work to assure that a significant price will be paid by those who have tried to abuse our legal system,” King added.
Manson has claimed that his and Smithline’s relationship didn’t even last a week in 2010 and that her allegations never happened.
“There are so many falsehoods within her claims that we wouldn’t know where to begin to answer them,” Manson said in a statement shortly after the filing of Smithline’s suit.
Wood’s representative added that “it’s unfortunate that the harassment and threats Ashley received after filing her federal lawsuit appear to have pressured her to change her testimony.”
Charlotte Pence Bond contributed to this report
Related: Marilyn Manson Sexual Assault Lawsuit Dismissed Without Prejudice