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Judge Dismisses Sexual Assault Lawsuit Against Marilyn Manson

Action was prompted by Ashley Morgan Smithline's failure to respond to an October court order in a timely fashion
Marilyn Manson
Axelle / Bauer-Griffin / Contributor

A California judge has dismissed a sexual assault, human trafficking, and unlawful imprisonment lawsuit brought against Marilyn Manson by model Ashley Morgan Smithline. Manson, born Brian Warner, has denied all allegations.

Judge Fernando L. Aenlle-Rocha dismissed the case yesterday (Jan. 3) after Smithline failed to hire a new attorney or choose to represent herself within a 90-day window set forth in court in early October. At that time, Smithline’s attorney Jay Ellwanger withdrew his representation.

“We thank and commend Ashley Smithline for dismissing her claims against Brian Warner without seeking or receiving anything in return,” says Manson attorney Howard King. “Ms. Smithline has refused to be manipulated by others who are trying to pursue their own agendas against Mr. Warner. 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.”

Manson’s legal team says that Smithline “was manipulated into fabricating lies” about the musician and that Ellwanger intentionally misrepresented Smithline’s whereabouts to postpone an earlier deposition. According to a filing from September, Smithline also apparently fired Ellwanger last April, although he continued communicating with Manson’s attorneys for several months.

Smithline went public with her allegations in a May 2021 interview with People and filed a suit against Manson shortly after that. She alleged that she first connected with Manson in 2010 with the promise of him casting her in a film, which would have been a remake of True Romance. She moved from Bangkok, where she was modeling at the time, to Los Angeles, where he lived.

“Mr. Warner knew these offers to be fraudulent. No effort was made to complete production of the film project, and to date, nothing from that project has been published,” the suit alleged. “Mr. Warner merely used the film project as a pretense to lure Ms. Smithline to the United States.”

According to the suit, the relationship went south after that, with Manson allegedly berating Smithline in front of his bandmates. She said that he carved his initials, “M.M.,” into her thigh and that he threw a Nazi knife at her, whipped, shook, and strangled her.

In May, a similar sexual abuse lawsuit against Manson by his former assistant Ashley Walters was dismissed in Los Angeles Superior Court due to a lack of facts and a statute of limitations.

Manson still faces an additional lawsuit from Game of Thrones actress Esme Bianco. He has also sued his former partner Evan Rachel Wood and her former partner Illma Gore for defamation, intentional infliction of emotional stress, violation of the Comprehensive Computer Data and Access Fraud Act and impersonation over the internet .