Note: This article contains descriptions of alleged sexual assault and sexual battery.
A California court has dismissed without prejudice a 2021 lawsuit accusing Brian Warner—also known as Marilyn Manson—of sexual assault, as the Los Angeles Times reports and Pitchfork can confirm. Model and entertainer Ashley Morgan Smithline sued the musician for sexual assault, sexual battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, unlawful imprisonment, and more. Warner has denied the allegations.
In October, Jay Ellwanger withdrew as Smithline’s attorney; she did not meet a deadline by December to acquire new representation or represent herself, leading to the court’s most recent decision. Smithline is able to re-file the case with new representation.
“We thank and commend Ashley Smithline for dismissing her claims against Brian Warner without seeking or receiving anything in return,” Howard King, Warner’s attorney, wrote in a statement provided to Pitchfork. “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 is currently facing a federal lawsuit from actress Esmé Bianco, who accused the musician of sexual assault and sexual battery. Manson is also suing Evan Rachel Wood for defamation, a reaction to her publicly naming him as her abuser in early 2021 and detailing her experiences in the documentary Phoenix Rising. In May, the Los Angeles Superior Court dismissed another lawsuit filed by a woman who had worked as Warner’s assistant, accusing him of sexual assault, battery, and harassment. Judge Michael Stern ruled that the claim could not proceed because alleged incidents happened beyond the state’s two-year statute of limitations.
Detectives with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Special Victims Bureau spent 19 months investigating sexual assault allegations against Warner, and they submitted the case to the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office for review and complaint filing consideration in September.
If you or someone you know has been affected by sexual assault, we encourage you to reach out for support:
RAINN National Sexual Assault Hotline
1 800 656 HOPE (4673)
Crisis Text Line
SMS: Text “HELLO” or “HOLA” to 741-741