Actor Evan Rachel Wood denies pressuring or manipulating model Ashley Morgan Smithline to make false rape allegations against their mutual ex, musician Marilyn Manson.
The charges from the “Westworld” and “Thirteen” stars were filed Monday in Los Angeles County Superior Court – the latest lawsuit in Manson’s defamation suit against her and artist Illma Gore. Manson, 54, whose real name is Brian Hugh Warner, sued Wood and Gore in March 2022 for libel, intentional infliction of emotional distress, violation of the Comprehensive Computer Data Access and Fraud Act, and impersonation over the Internet.
“I have never pressured or manipulated Ashley Morgan Smithline into making allegations against prosecutor Brian Warner, and I certainly have never pressured or manipulated her into making allegations that were not true. It was Mrs Smithline who first contacted me in March 2019,” Wood said in an affidavit obtained by The Times.
Wood — who initially denied Smithline’s allegations through a rep last week — was one of several women publicly accused of sexual assault by Manson in early 2021. The following year, she said in a documentary that he “essentially raped” her while shooting a music video in 2007. The initial allegations resulted in the embattled artist being dropped by his record label and his manager and taking a role in TV show lost. “American gods.”
In her lawsuit this week, Wood said Smithline first contacted her on March 11, 2019, by responding to an Instagram post in which Wood shared that she had been a victim of sexual assault. (She hadn’t publicly named Manson as her alleged abuser at the time, but it was common knowledge that the two had an on-again, off-again relationship in the early s.)
Wood admitted a screenshot of the Instagram post’s public comments as a piece of evidence in her 25-page file and shared separate allegations Smithline made against the rocker, including allegations that he held her captive in a ballet studio. (Wood’s Instagram account is now private.)
The “Once and Again” alum said she had not met or communicated with Smithline prior to that comment, nor did she know who Smithline was.
“But in her comments, Ms. Smithline referred to information about my private experiences with Mr. Warner that was not publicly available at the time. In particular, Mr. Warner once abused me while making me watch a certain scene from the movie “Rules of Attraction.” Mr. Warner and I were the only two people in the room when that abuse happened,” Wood said.
The 35-year-old actor added that the first and only time she ever met Smithline in person was at a survivor gathering in October 2020, which was filmed for the HBO documentary “Phoenix Rising.”
“During the October 2020 rally, Ms Smithline described abuse she alleged Mr Warner inflicted on her. Mrs. Smithline has always told me she was abused by Mr. Warner,” Wood’s statement said.
Wood added that her only other communication with Smithline was via Instagram direct messages as of 2021 after Smithline shared her story with People in May of that year. Wood included screenshots of several of their exchanges, some in which Smithline defamed Manson and his legion of fans, as evidence in the filing.
Smithline, whose 2021 federal lawsuit against Manson was dismissed last month after missing a court deadline to name new counsel, claimed last week that she “succumbed to pressure from Evan Rachel Wood and her associates to allegations of rape and sexual assault against Mr. Warner. that was not true.”
Smithline said Wood and actor Esmé Bianco, a woman in the prosecution group who settled with Warner in January, also insisted she suppressed memories.
Manson said in June 2021 that his and Smithline’s relationship had lasted less than a week in 2010 and denied the allegations she made against him.
The embattled rocker’s legal team asked last week that Smithline’s statement be allowed, in opposition to Wood’s anti-SLAPP motion to dismiss the libel suit outright.
The “Sweet Dreams” and “Beautiful People” musician accuses Wood and Gore of hatching schemes to fabricate and profit from sexual abuse allegations against him, as well as hacking into his computers and social media and impersonating an FBI agent. agent in the process.
Wood’s filing on Monday was accompanied by statements from her attorney, Michael J. Kump, detailing he and Wood’s communications with Smithline and others, as well as a statement from Karl Neilson, who claims to be a friend of Smithline’s, who supports Wood’s account .
Neilson provided a transcript and audio files of a voicemail Smithline reportedly recorded last year, in which she said she believed Manson’s attorney, Howard King, thought she was “a weak link” and wanted to settle with her “to get the attacking other girls and saying it was all a ruse.
In a statement on Tuesday to Rolling stone, Smithline responded to Wood’s statement by saying, “Evan is full of s—. That’s my comment. She says everything she can to discredit me.”
King also denied Wood’s allegations in a statement People: “I did not discuss Ashley Smithline’s claims against Brian Warner until after she contacted me and terminated her attorney. Moreover, when Mrs. Smithline spoke to me for nearly two hours recently, we recorded the conversation in its entirety, and that recording proves that everything in her statement was taken from her words, not mine.’
King and Smithline representatives did not immediately respond to requests for comment from The Times on Tuesday.
Times staff writer Christie D’Zurilla contributed to this report.