A few months ago, Ashley Morgan Smithline, who previously accused Marilyn Manson (real name Brian Warner) of psychological, sexual, and physical abuse, rescinded her allegations. She claimed that actress Evan Rachel Wood pressured her into making them. Meanwhile, Manson sued Wood and her friend Illma Gore last year for spreading “malicious falsehood,” which included a forged FBI letter.
The defamation case has been ongoing since the premiere of Wood’s two-part HBO documentary Phoenix Rising about Manson, which featured graphic details of abuse. Today, May 9, it’s been reported that Wood won’t have to face the defamation claims.
The ruling reads: “The Court does not find that Plaintiff has demonstrated that Wood had ‘concurred’ in Gore’s alleged defamatory statements about Groupie with knowledge of their unlawful purpose, or that Wood intended to aid in achieving Gore’s objective of making such alleged defamatory statements.”
Upon Smithline accusing Wood of pressuring her into making allegations, a representative of Wood shared a statement. “Evan never pressured or manipulated Ashley,” it read. “It was Ashley who first contacted Evan about the abuse she had suffered. It’s unfortunate that the harassment and threats Ashley received after filing her federal lawsuit appear to have pressured her to change her testimony.”