Judge Dismisses Ashley Morgan Smithline’s Case Against Marilyn Manson

Manson's counsel claims she "was manipulated into fabricating lies"

marilyn manson ashley morgan smithline sexual assault case dismissed legal news alternative rock
Marilyn Manson (photo by Raymond Ahner) and Ashley Morgan Smithline (via YouTube)

    A California district judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by model Ashley Morgan Smithline against Marilyn Manson, which accused the musician born Brian Warner of sexual assault, human trafficking, and unlawful imprisonment.

    After Smithline’s attorney Jay Ellwanger withdrew his representation in October, Judge Fernando L. Aenlle-Rocha gave Smithline a 90-day window to either hire a new attorney or decide to represent herself. She did neither by the December 5th deadline, prompting Aenlle-Rocha to dismiss the case without prejudice late Tuesday.

    “We thank and commend Ashley Smithline for dismissing her claims against Brian Warner without seeking or receiving anything in return,” Manson’s attorney Howard King wrote in a statement. “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.”


    A representative for Manson wrote in a statement to Consequence that bizarre Instagram messages between Smithline and Ellwanger led Manson’s counsel to believe that Smithline “was manipulated into fabricating lies” about the shock rocker. According to court documents, these messages implied that Ellwanger had, unbeknownst to Smithline, lied about her whereabouts in order to postpone their deposition. The messages also indicated that Smithline fired Ellwanger in April 2022, despite his continued communication with Manson’s counsel afterwards.

    Smithline first publicly accused Manson of abuse in a detailed cover story with People magazine in May 2021, following accusations by Manson’s ex-partner Evan Rachel Wood. Ellwanger is still representing Esmé Bianco, the Game of Thrones actress who filed a similar lawsuit against Manson the month prior. Manson has denied all allegations and sued Wood for defamation.

    If you or someone you know has been impacted by sexual misconduct, you can reach out for support:
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    Editor’s Note: The article has been updated to clarify the timeline. Ellwanger withdrew his counsel in October and Smithline was given until December to respond.