Marilyn Manson sexual assault lawsuit dismissed without prejudice

<span>Photograph: Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP</span>
Photograph: Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP

A 2021 lawsuit from model Ashley Morgan Smithline accusing Marilyn Manson of sexual assault, sexual battery, unlawful imprisonment and more has been dismissed by a California court. As the Los Angeles Times and Pitchfork report, the decision was made after Smithline failed to find new representation when her legal counsel withdrew from the case in October. The lawsuit was dismissed without prejudice, meaning Smithline can refile the case if she finds new representation or chooses to represent herself.

The allegations in Smithline’s lawsuit aren’t the only such accusations Manson, real name Brian Warner, has faced in recent years. The 54-year-old rock musician is currently the subject of a lawsuit from actress Esmé Bianco that alleges he sexually assaulted her; in May, a lawsuit from Manson’s former assistant Ashley Walters accusing him of sexual assault and harassment was dismissed, due to the claims falling outside California’s statute of limitations. In 2021, one of Manson’s ex-girlfriends sued Manson, alleging he had raped her and tried to kill her; the lawsuit was dismissed for falling outside the statute of limitations but was refiled shortly after.

In a statement to Pitchfork, Manson’s lawyer Howard King said: “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. 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.”

All four lawsuits against Manson were filed after actress Evan Rachel Wood, Manson’s former partner, came forward with allegations of abuse against the musician in early 2021. “[Manson] started grooming me when I was a teenager and horrifically abused me for years,” she said at the time. “I was brainwashed and manipulated into submission.” Wood further detailed her allegations in the documentary Phoenix Rising; Manson is currently suing her for defamation.