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Marilyn Manson faces rape, human trafficking, unlawful imprisonment lawsuit from another ex-girlfriend

Marilyn Manson portrait 2020
(Image credit: Frazer Harrison / Getty Images)

Content warning: This story contains descriptions of sexual assault.

American model/actor Ashley Morgan Smithline has become the fourth woman to file a lawsuit against Marilyn Manson, alleging sexual assault, sexual battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, human trafficking, and unlawful imprisonment, among other abusive behaviour.  

Smithline laid out her accusations against Manson, a former boyfriend, in early May in an interview with People magazine, stating that the singer, whose real name is Brian Warner, tortured and abused her during a two-year relationship that began in 2010.

The model and actor first named Manson as her abuser on Instagram in February, accusing the singer of raping her multiple times, including when she was unconscious and “tied up”. She says her nose was broken during one sexual assault.

Smithline also alleges that the singer whipped her and cut her, including carving his initials into her thigh using a knife emblazoned with a swastika.

She is the fourth woman to accuse Manson of abuse and sexual impropriety, following legal actions from Game Of Thrones actor Esme Bianco, who is suing the singer for rape, sexual battery and human trafficking, Manson’s former assistant Ashley Walters, who claims that Manson subjected her to “personal and professional sexual exploitation, manipulation and psychological abuse”, and another woman who has chosen to remain anonymous and is referred to in court documents simply as Jane Doe, who says she was raped by the singer who later made death threats against her. 

Ashley Smithline’s lawsuit states, “Through his physical, emotional, and verbal abuse, Mr. Warner exercised total control over Ms. Smithline, to the point that Ms. Smithline became powerless and brainwashed by Mr. Warner.

“Ms. Smithline was forced to watch clips of movie scenes depicting gruesome suicides and child pornography,” the suit says. “This was so intense it left Ms. Smithline wondering if Mr. Warner wanted her to kill herself. Again, this was intentional conduct motivated by Mr. Warner’s sexual desires.”

Smithline’s lawsuit can be read in full below.

“We strongly deny Ms. Smithline’s claims,” a representative for Manson told Rolling Stone. “There are so many falsehoods within her claims that we wouldn’t know where to begin to answer them. This relationship, to the limited extent it was a relationship, lasted less than a week in 2010. Manson hasn’t seen Ms. Smithline since then.”

Several more women, including Warner’s former fiancée, actor Evan Rachel Wood, spoke up in February with their own allegations of abuse. Manson’s record label, booking agent, and manager Tony Ciulla have subsequently cut all ties with the singer.

Esme Bianco has named Tony Ciulla and his company Ciulla Management as defendants in her lawsuit, which was filed in April in a United States District Court for the Central District of California.