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Marilyn Manson sexual assault lawsuit dismissed after accuser misses deadline

By | Published on Thursday 5 January 2023

Marilyn Manson

A sexual assault lawsuit against Marilyn Manson has been dismissed after the woman who filed it – Ashley Morgan Smithline – missed a deadline in the case.

Smithline claimed in her 2021 legal filing that the musician had violently assaulted her several times between 2010 and 2013 – allegations he denies.

In October, her lawyer was granted permission to step down from the case and the court gave Smithline three months to appoint new representation or officially confirm that she would be representing herself. The case was dismissed by default when that deadline passed yesterday without a response.

This is one of a four lawsuits filed against Manson – real name Brian Warner – in 2021, accusing him of multiple sexual assaults.

Two of these are still working their way through the courts – one from ‘Game Of Thrones’ actor Esmé Bianco and another from an unnamed woman. A third, filed by Manson’s former assistant Ashley Walters, was dismissed last year after a judge ruled that the statute of limitations prevented the litigation from proceeding. Walters is currently appealing that decision.

Manson maintains his innocence, saying that all encounters were either consensual or have been fabricated. He and his legal team insist that the lawsuits have been filed as part of a coordinated plan by his former partner, actor Evan Rachel Wood, who has also publicly made claims about abuse during their relationship.

In a statement, Manson’s lawyer Howard King made reference to this, and basically claimed victory in the Smithline case, saying: “We thank and commend Ashley Smithline for dismissing her claims against Brian Warner without seeking or receiving anything in return”.

“Ms Smithline has refused to be manipulated by others who are trying to pursue their own agendas against Mr Warner”, he added. “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”.

As well as the civil lawsuits, there is also a criminal investigation into allegations against Manson ongoing. In September, prosecutors said that while a “partial” report into that investigation had been submitted by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, more evidence was required before criminal charges could be considered.