Evan Rachel Wood said a model who now claims that Wood pressured her to make sexual assault allegations against Marilyn Manson for years told her the singer had abused her — and Wood says she has the receipts to prove it.
In a declaration filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court on Monday, Wood fought back against the assertion revealed by Manson's attorneys last week, saying that she never manipulated the model, Ashley Morgan Smithline, into accusing him of raping her and suggested it was Manson who pushed her to change her story.
"I never pressured or manipulated Ashley Morgan Smithline to make any accusations against [Manson]," Wood said, "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, who was engaged to Manson in 2010, said she first became aware of Smithline when the model commented on a post she had made on March 11, 2019, with statements she made about being a survivor of abuse. At the time, Wood had not publicly named Manson as the person who allegedly abused her, nor had she ever met or talked to Smithline. In her comment, the model wrote, "when he had me captive in the stupid ballet studio, i cringed hearing him brag about replaying that scene from rules of attraction to you," according to the court filing, which included an image of the post.
"Ms. Smithline referenced information about my private experiences with Mr. Warner that was not publicly available at that time," Wood said, referring to Manson by his legal name, Brian Hugh Warner.
The actor said that one time Manson abused her while making her watch "a particular scene" from 2002's The Rules of Attraction and that she and the singer were "the only two people in the room when that abuse occurred."
Smithline sued Manson in federal court in June 2021, accusing him of sexual assault, sexual battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and unlawful imprisonment. Her complaint was dismissed last month after she failed to submit a notice of new counsel or a status report after her attorney withdrew from the case. But in a declaration filed by Manson's attorneys in another lawsuit on Thursday, Smithline said Manson never abused or assaulted her and that she eventually gave in to the pressure to make the accusations against him after Wood repeatedly told her that just because she couldn't remember "did not necessarily mean that it did not happen."
"While at first I knew Mr. Warner did not do these things to me, eventually I began to question whether he actually did," Smithline said in the declaration, which was filed as part of the musician's defamation suit against Wood and Ashley Gore, also known as Illma Gore.
In the documents filed Monday, Wood's attorney Michael Kump questioned the authenticity of Smithline's declaration and accused Manson's attorneys of pressuring her to change her story.
"The circumstances under which Smithline purportedly signed the declaration render it totally unreliable," Kump wrote. "In fact, while Smithline was not pressured to make false allegations against Plaintiff, she was pressured by Plaintiff’s fans and attorneys to recant those allegations."
Attorneys for Manson and a representative for Smithline did not immediately respond to BuzzFeed News' requests for comment Monday.
In her declaration, Wood said only ever met with Smithline one time, on Oct. 21, 2020, for a meeting of survivors that was filmed for her HBO documentary Phoenix Rising. During that meeting, Smithline "described abuse that she claimed Mr. Warner inflicted upon her," Wood said.
"Ms. Smithline has always told me that she was abused by Mr. Warner," the actor continued.
Wood said she later communicated with Smithline via private messages on Instagram in 2021 after they and three other women posted about the alleged sexual, physical, and emotional abuse they suffered from Manson. According to screenshots of those messages filed with Wood's declaration, Smithline says, "he better go for life," apparently referencing Manson and the criminal investigation into the sexual assault allegations.
"i can't breathe," Smithline said, according to the screenshots. "i have no reason to make this up!"
"Dont let anybody get to you," Wood responds. "Just sit in your truth no one can touch that."
After Wood shared an article on her Instagram story in October 2021 about an alleged victim stating that Manson "was planning to kill Evan Rachel Wood," Smithline replied, "i second that. he said i'm going to kill my ex so many times!" according to the screenshots.