One of the three remaining sex abuse lawsuits filed against shock rocker Marilyn Manson was dismissed by a federal judge in Los Angeles Tuesday after the plaintiff, Ashley Morgan Smithline, missed a key deadline.
The court previously granted Smithline’s prior lawyer permission to withdraw from the case on Oct. 5. It then gave Smithline two months to keep the case alive by either hiring new representation or filing a status report stating she was ready to represent herself. She never responded.
Smithline originally sued Manson, born Brian Warner, in June 2021. She alleged the musician obsessively pursued her online, convinced her to visit him in Los Angeles and then bound and raped her, choked her, put a pillow over her face and cut her with a knife during various assaults between mid-November 2010 and January 2013.
Warner, 53, denied any wrongdoing, saying his alleged interactions with Smithline and his other accusers were either consensual or didn’t happen.
Though Tuesday’s dismissal was a ruling by default, Warner’s lawyer claimed it as a victory for the defense.
“We thank and commend Ashley Smithline for dismissing her claims against Brian Warner without seeking or receiving anything in return,” lawyer Howard King said 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.”
Warner still faces two other sex assault lawsuits from Game of Thrones actress Esmé Bianco and a Jane Doe who claims Warner brutally raped her at his residence in 2011 after a tortured relationship.
A fourth lawsuit filed in May 2021 by Ashley Walters was dismissed by a judge last year for being beyond the statute of limitations. Walters is appealing the order.
In her complaint, Walters alleged Warner subjected her to more than a year of “sexual exploitation, manipulation, and psychological abuse” after luring her to his residence in May 2010 with the promise of a professional collaboration.
Warner filed his own related defamation lawsuit in March, accusing his ex-girlfriend Evan Rachel Wood of fabricating claims against him and taking steps “to recruit, coordinate, and pressure women who had been linked to Warner to make false accusations of abuse against him.”
Wood later said on The View that she wasn’t “scared” to face Warner in court. “This is what pretty much every survivor that tries to expose someone in a position of power goes though, and this is part of the retaliation that keeps survivors quiet. This is why people don’t want to come forward. This was expected,” she said. “I am very confident that I have the truth on my side and that the truth will come out.”