Evan Rachel Wood denies manipulation claims in Manson case

Actor Evan Rachel Wood denies pressuring or manipulating mannequin Ashley Morgan Smithline into making false rape allegations towards their mutual ex, musician Marilyn Manson.

The “Westworld” and “Thirteen” star’s declaration was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court docket on Monday — the most recent courtroom submitting in Manson’s defamation case towards her and artist Illma Gore. Manson, 54, whose actual title is Brian Hugh Warner, sued Wood and Gore in March 2022, alleging defamation, intentional infliction of emotional misery, violation of the Complete Pc Knowledge Entry and Fraud Act and impersonation over the web.

“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 stated in a sworn declaration obtained by The Instances.

Wood — who initially denied Smithline’s allegations by way of a consultant final week — was one in all a variety of girls who in early 2021 publicly accused Manson of sexual abuse. She stated in a documentary the next yr that he had “essentially raped” her whereas taking pictures a music video in 2007. The preliminary allegations resulted within the embattled performer being dropped by his file label and his supervisor, and shedding a task within the TV present “American Gods.”

In her courtroom submitting this week, Wood stated that Smithline first contacted her on March 11, 2019, by commenting on an Instagram publish on which Wood shared that she had been a sufferer of sexual abuse. (She had not but publicly named Manson as her alleged abuser on the time, nevertheless it was well-known that the 2 have been in an on-off relationship within the early aughts.)

Admitting a screenshot of the Instagram publish’s public feedback as an exhibit in her 25-page submitting, Wood shared separate accusations Smithline made towards the rocker, together with allegations that he held her captive in a ballet studio. (Wood’s Instagram account is now personal.)

Ashley Morgan Smithline photographed in Los Angeles on Oct. 30, 2021.

(Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Instances)

The “Once and Again” alum stated that she didn’t meet nor talk with Smithline earlier than that remark, nor did she know who Smithline was.

“But in her comments, Ms. Smithline referenced information about my private experiences with Mr. Warner that was not publicly available at that time. Specifically, Mr. Warner once abused me while he made me watch a particular scene from the movie ‘Rules of Attraction.’ Mr. Warner and I were the only two people in the room when that abuse occurred,” Wood stated.

The 35-year-old actor added that the primary and solely time she ever met Smithline in particular person was throughout an October 2020 assembly of survivors, which was filmed for the HBO documentary “Phoenix Rising.”

“During the October 2020 meeting, Ms. Smithline described abuse that she claimed Mr. Warner inflicted upon her. Ms. Smithline has always told me that she was abused by Mr. Warner,” Wood’s declaration stated.

Wood added that her solely different communication with Smithline had been by way of direct messages on Instagram starting in 2021 after Smithline shared her story with Individuals in Might of that yr. Wood included screenshots of a number of of their exchanges, some during which Smithline maligned Manson and his legion of followers, as displays within the submitting too.

Smithline, whose 2021 federal lawsuit towards Manson was dismissed final month after she missed a courtroom deadline to call new counsel, final week alleged that 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.”

Smithline stated that Wood and actor Esmé Bianco, a lady within the accusers group who reached a settlement with Warner in January, additionally insisted she was repressing recollections.

Manson stated in June 2021 that his and Smithline’s 2010 relationship had lasted lower than per week and denied the allegations she leveled towards him.

The embattled rocker’s authorized workforce requested that Smithline’s declaration be admitted final week in opposition to Wood’s anti-SLAPP movement to dismiss the defamation lawsuit altogether.

The “Sweet Dreams” and “Beautiful People” musician is accusing Wood and Gore of hatching plans to fabricate sexual-abuse allegations towards him and to revenue from them, in addition to hacking into his computer systems and social media and impersonating an FBI agent within the course of.

Wood’s Monday submitting was accompanied by declarations from her lawyer, Michael J. Kump, outlining his and Wood’s communications with Smithline and others, in addition to a declaration from Karl Neilson, who claims to be a good friend of Smithline, supporting Wood’s account.

Neilson supplied a transcript and audio information of a voicemail Smithline allegedly recorded final yr saying that she believed Manson’s lawyer, Howard King, thought she was “a weak link” and needed to settle along with her “to turn on the other girls, and say that it was all, like, a ruse.”

In a Tuesday assertion to Rolling Stone, Smithline responded to Wood’s declaration saying: “Evan’s full of s—. That’s my comment. She’s saying anything she can to discredit me.”

King additionally denied Wood’s allegations in a press release to Individuals: “I never discussed Ashley Smithline’s claims against Brian Warner until after she had reached out to me and terminated her counsel. Moreover, when Ms. Smithline recently spoke with me for almost two hours, we taped the conversation in full and that recording proves that every single thing in her declaration was taken from her words, not mine.”

King and representatives for Smithline didn’t instantly reply Tuesday to The Instances’ requests for remark.

Instances employees author Christie D’Zurilla contributed to this report.