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Marilyn Manson and wife Lindsay attend Enfants Riches Déprimés event at Maxfield LA

Los Angeles brand Enfants Riches Déprimés is currently showcasing their Spring 2024 collection at Maxfield LA, and the event was attended by Marilyn Manson and his wife Lindsay on April 17th. On March 16th, Manson posted photos on his social media wearing the Enfants Riches Déprimés brand, which is French for "Depressed Rich Kids". Enfants Riches Déprimés is a Los Angeles and Paris based luxury fashion brand founded in 2012 by the conceptual artist Henri Alexander Levy, who has created a French punk streetwear line based on the movements of the late 1970s and Japanese Avant-garde movements of the 1980s. One of the core precepts of the brand is high price points, with T-shirts ranging on average from $500 to $1,000, and haute couture jackets priced as high as $95,000. ERD consistently utilizes the business model of artificial scarcity. In this regard, all styles are sold on an extremely exclusive basis, and thus in relatively small quantities. In a 2016 interview with Complex

The Brave Confession of Ashley Morgan Smithline

The Confession of Ann Putnam

How many of you know who Ann Putnam was? It is a name we should all know.

Ann Putnam was born in Salem, Massachusetts on October 18, 1679, the eldest of twelve children. Most famously, she was one of the prime accusers at the Salem Witch Trials. Though a primary accuser, Ann wasn't one of the original accusers. She was friends with some of the girls who claimed to be afflicted by witchcraft and, in March 1692, proclaimed to be afflicted herself, along with Elizabeth Hubbard, Mary Walcott, Mercy Lewis, Abigail Williams, and Mary Warren. Putnam is responsible for the accusations of 62 people, which, along with the accusations of others, resulted in the executions of twenty people, as well as the deaths of several others in prison.

Fellow accuser Mercy Lewis was a servant in the Putnam household, and Mary Walcott was, perhaps, Ann's best friend. These three girls would become the first afflicted girls outside of the Parris household.

Multiple accusers, how could they be wrong?

Odd how no one ever mentions the fact that a bunch of men in a "patriarchal society" fully believed with dire consequences what a bunch of girls had to say, practically without question.

The Salem Witch Trials ended in May 1693, after over a year of terror.

Ann was chronically ill in the years after the trials, inheriting the weak and fragile constitution of her mother, and that, coupled with the heavy toll of the daily trials and accusations which involved a lot of physical and mental efforts, led to her death at a young age. When both her parents died in 1699, she was left to raise her nine surviving siblings. She never married.

On August 25, 1706, when Ann Putnam sought to join the Salem Village church, she publicly asked forgiveness for her part in the Salem Witch Trials, the only accuser to do so. She claimed that she had not acted out of malice, but had been deluded by Satan into denouncing innocent people, mentioning Rebecca Nurse, in particular, and was accepted for full membership. The surviving victims of the witch trials, and the families of those who had been executed as a result of her accusations, accepted her apology and were reconciled with her.

This is the public confession Ann made before the congregation:

I desire to be humbled before God for that sad and humbling providence that befell my father's family in the year about '92; that I, then being in my childhood, should, by such a providence of God, be made an instrument for the accusing of several persons of a grievous crime, whereby their lives were taken away from them, whom now I have just grounds and good reason to believe they were innocent persons; and that it was a great delusion of Satan that deceived me in that sad time, whereby I justly fear I have been instrumental, with others, though ignorantly and unwittingly, to bring upon myself and this land the guilt of innocent blood; though what was said or done by me against any person I can truly and uprightly say, before God and man, I did it not out of any anger, malice, or ill-will to any person, for I had no such thing against one of them; but what I did was ignorantly, being deluded by Satan. And particularly, as I was a chief instrument of accusing of Goodwife Nurse and her two sisters, I desire to lie in the dust, and to be humbled for it, in that I was a cause, with others, of so sad a calamity to them and their families; for which cause I desire to lie in the dust, and earnestly beg forgiveness of God, and from all those unto whom I have given just cause of sorrow and offence, whose relations were taken away or accused.

Ann died in 1716 and is buried with her parents in an unmarked grave in Danvers, Massachusetts.

The Confession of Ashley Morgan Smithline

Probably a lot more of you know who Ashley Morgan Smithline is. Ashley is from Calabasas, California, was born on September 25th 1983(?) to Jay and Lisa Smithline, and has an older sister named Gillian. This is how she told her own story, in a now deleted Facebook post from December 4, 2019:

Her story above seems truthful to me, and it documents some of the major struggles she has faced in life. It does show the close relationship she has with her mom, who in the past has worked in film, media and marketing. One thing not contained in Ashley's 2019 story is any detail of abuse, nor anything about Marilyn Manson, who within a year will become the new focus of her story. How did Marilyn Manson become the focus of Ashley's life struggle in such a short period of time, and why didn't she include anything about him in her 2019 brief biography of her struggles?

The answer to this question was given to us yesterday, February 24th 2023, when Marilyn Manson's team filed a Declaration from Ashley Morgan Smithline as a submission to challenge the anti-SLAPP motions scheduled for April 11th made by Evan Rachel Wood and Illma Gore. The Declaration can be read below:

Though legally this is called a Declaration, in many ways it can also be read as a Confession. Certainly it is a bombshell of a revelation, and marks a major victory for Marilyn Manson in this modern day witchhunt.
Here we have a primary accuser, not one of the original accusers but an acquaintance of Ashley Walters, who was eventually recruited to join the other accusers and appeared at the Survivor's Meeting taped for the documentary Phoenix Rising in October 2020, then issued a statement on Instagram with the other accusers on February 1st 2021, was later featured in a cover story by Tomas Mier for People magazine, then appeared with her lawyer Jay Ellwanger on The View, and finally filed a lawsuit against Marilyn Manson in June 2021 (read her Declaration here). On January 3rd 2023 her lawsuit against Manson was dismissed without prejudice, after she failed to follow up in obtaining new legal representation, having had a fall out with Jay Ellwanger.

According to Page Six, who first broke this story yesterday, "Manson’s attorney, Howard King, tells Page Six that Smithline contacted him and his team of her own volition last week and has apologized to the singer." This apology of Smithline to Manson we can assume took place privately.

Now, in this new Declaration, Smithline is admitting that what she publicly said and declared in the past against Marilyn Manson was wrong, after being manipulated by Evan Rachel Wood, Esme Bianco and Illma Gore to believe she had repressed memories about her relationship with Manson that included sexual assault and abuse, even though she had no recollection of it before speaking with them on numerous occasions and feeling the pressure to accept what they were telling her. This process and pressure made her believe that what they had accused Manson of, she also experienced. She further accuses Illma Gore of drafting and posting her statement on February 1st 2021 without her final approval, and also without her approval her attorney Jay Ellwanger drafted and submitted her Declaration in June 2021. Smithline says she submitted to these actions for a time because she was under pressure to do so, but came to regret her decision.
King also points out in a statement to Page Six that Jay Ellwanger was allegedly “given to her” as an attorney by Esmé Bianco. “[Ellwanger] wrote a complaint without talking to [Smithline] about what the factual allegations were and they filed it,” King alleges. “They wore her down.”

Ellwanger told Page Six that his response is “constrained by ethical obligations regarding client confidentiality, even to a former client,” but adds that the “specific allegations” described “are categorically and verifiably false.”

In a statement to Billboard, a spokesperson for Evan Rachel Wood strongly denied Smithline’s accusations: “Evan never pressured or manipulated Ashley. It was Ashley who first contacted Evan about the abuse she had suffered. It’s unfortunate that the harassment and threats Ashley received after filing her federal lawsuit appear to have pressured her to change her testimony.”

What Really Happened With Ashley Morgan Smithline?

The following brief summary is based on my own observations and through various sources of mine.

In late June 2022, I was asked to listen to a few short excerpts of a recording from a 7-hour conversation between what was reportedly between Ashley Morgan Smithline and someone known as Dominic Phoenix, primarily to determine if it was in fact Smithline who was recorded, because there was some doubt based on the accent. Initially, the accent sounded to me almost exactly like Illma Gore's Australian accent, based on a 10-second clip. When I asked for a 30-second clip, it became clear to me that it was in fact Ashley Morgan Smithline talking in a British accent. I would soon learn that Smithline had tried to fire her lawyer Jay Ellwanger in April and fled to England around that time, basically assuming a new identity under the same name and trying to get away from anything having to do with the lawsuit against Marilyn Manson, which she was saying at the time was instigated through the manipulation tactics primarily of Evan Rachel Wood, Esme Bianco, Illma Gore, Ashley Walters and Jay Ellwanger. She said they put her in a situation that took a mental and physical toll on her, and she blamed Manson supporters for being harassing towards her when she felt she didn't deserve it, since she strongly felt she was manipulated into this whole lawsuit, which she never really wanted to file. The pressure was so intense for her from both sides, that it seems it played a factor in her moving to England.

This is a very basic summary of what I heard from Ashley Morgan Smithline in June 2022. I myself have never talked to her, but I was getting various communications from her privately from others over the course of the next few months. In the next few months some of this information was gradually being leaked by Ashley to Manson's team in the context of a deposition for Esme Bianco's lawsuit, and she would eventually build a trusting relationship with Howard King, who was offering her a platform to come clean and put this matter behind her. Though it was what Ashley wanted to do, she was very hesitant to do any favors for Manson and his supporters if she was going to continue to be harassed online. Eventually the deposition never took place and Esme Bianco settled her lawsuit, where she received a small fraction of the money she sought that was primarily paid to her through Manson's insurance. Smithline's lawsuit was also dismissed without prejudice, since she never followed up with obtaining a new lawyer after firing Ellwanger. Meanwhile, Smithline had come home for the holidays towards the end of 2022, spent time with her family, and got in contact with Howard King. Before her return to England, she finally submitted the Declaration that was filed yesterday.

How To Understand the Declaration

While the Declaration can somewhat be seen as a confession, in reality it is a legal document that serves a specific purpose, and is not meant to be a tell-all book. A lot of information is missing, and it is missing on purpose, because in order to get this filing submitted and approved at this time it must be focused primarily as a submission to challenge the anti-SLAPP motions of Evan and Illma.

Evan’s and Illma's attorneys are seeking to dismiss Manson’s defamation case against them by citing California’s so-called anti-SLAPP statute — a law that aims to make it easier to dismiss cases that threaten free speech. Evan’s and Illma's lawyers say Manson’s case is exactly that: an effort to punish Evan after she chose to speak publicly about years of abuse.

“For years, plaintiff Brian Warner raped and tortured defendant Evan Rachel Wood and threatened retaliation if she told anyone about it,” her attorneys wrote. “Warner has now made good on those threats by filing the present lawsuit.”

Manson’s attorneys want to cite the Declaration from Smithline as a reason to deny the anti-SLAPP motion since such motions require courts to assess the validity of a case’s allegations. In asking the court to heed the filing, they wrote: “This newly obtained evidence is critical to Warner’s opposition to the anti-SLAPP motions, in which defendants argue that there is no ‘admissible evidence substantiating his allegations.’”

In a statement to Billboard, Howard King said Smithline’s Declaration “proves” that the lawsuit’s core accusations are true. “As we have always said, the coordinated campaign of #MeToo lies against Brian Warner is going to go down as one of the greatest hoaxes of all time,” King said. “Vulnerable women were manipulated by unscrupulous individuals seeking to build their own brands and pursue their own vendettas.”

Ashley stated months ago in her 7-hour taped conversation that she never intends to write a tell-all book, she just wants her lawsuit to go away. It was also indicated that she did want to expose what Evan, Esme and Jay did to her. This is reflected in her Declaration.

Why Did Ashley Play Both Sides?

For a time I also believed Smithline was playing both sides over the past six months or so, because I was receiving texts and photos from the supporters of Manson accusers that seemed to be her denying to them what she was saying to Manson supporters. This is a fact that cannot be denied. However, I have now come to understand this as Ashley not necessarily playing both sides, but she was just telling the supporters of Manson's accusers what they wanted to hear in order to keep her own peace of mind and give her time to make a final decision as to what she wanted to do. After all, this is a major and unprecedented decision she has made, which takes a lot of courage to admit. Remember, she apologized to Manson directly, whose life she helped destroy, and despite her public appearances and interviews and the trust a lot of people put in her, including real survivors, she decided to do what she knew was right by her conscience. However, I will also add that I personally believe her visit to her family and return to the California was a major factor in her decision. Sometimes you need to consider what your actions do to your family and get back to your roots to wake up, as we learn in the classic Parable of the Prodigal Son.

Did Ashley Make First Contact With Evan About Her Abuse?

This is what Evan is now alleging and no doubt will become the narrative of her lawyers, reps and supporters. However, if you read Smithline's Declaration carefully, she doesn't get into any details of how they first met, but begins with being invited to a group chat. At the same time, it doesn't even matter, because Smithline is now claiming that she realized she was being manipulated. Isn't this what Evan also said about Manson, that it took her time to realize that she was manipulated by Manson, despite her contrary and widely documented remarks while they were together? If Evan continues this narrative against Smithline, in the process she will destroy the basis of her own narrative against Manson that she has been making since at least 2018.

Was Smithline Paid Off By Manson?

Howard King told Page Six that Smithline has not been compensated for speaking in favor of his client and against Evan — which Smithline also affirms herself in her declaration.

“I never received any money from Mr. Warner and am not seeking any money from him,” Smithline says. “I have no intention of refiling any lawsuit against Mr. Warner.” She concludes, “Looking back, I feel I was manipulated by Ms. Wood, Ms. Gore, Ms. Bianco and Mr. Ellwanger to spread publicly false accusations of abuse against Mr. Warner.”

When asked whether the settlement was a way to financially compensate an alleged victim in order for them to “quietly go away,” King told Page Six that Bianco was the only one who has gotten paid and that she got a “fraction” of what she was asking for.

“It was paid for primarily by an insurance company,” the top Hollywood attorney adds. “Had we known that Smithline was going to come forward with this type of information, Brian would not have paid a cent even if it was insurance company money. We were facing months and months of legal fees, the insurance money was running out and the insurance company offered to pay a significant portion of the settlement,” he further explains.

Concluding Remarks:

Since April of 2022, Ashley Morgan Smithline has posted in her Instagram stories a clip from the movie The Crucible (a fictional account of the Salem Witch Trials written by Arthur Miller) at least a dozen times, which depicts John Proctor crying out: “I have given you my soul; leave me my name!” This defense of his name enables Proctor to muster the courage to die, heroically, with his goodness intact, despite being falsely accused. In her communications with Manson supporters, she has repeated a similar desire of wanting to restore her name. In my opinion, she has done it with her Declaration/Confession. 
As for me, I personally now see Ashley as more like Ann Putnam than John Proctor. In The Crucible, Ann Putnam's character is named Ruth, so as not to confuse her with her mother, who was also called Ann Putnam (Sr.). Ann Putnam Jr., also called Annie to distinguish her from her mother, was the only accuser of the Salem Witch Trials to bravely do the right thing by means of her public confession, and she was widely forgiven and accepted for this heroic act, even though it was too late for many of her victims. Her fellow Christians understood the powerful manipulation tactics of the devil, and that God's forgiveness was even more powerful. For Ashley, she came forward before it was too late, and did what she needed to do, asking for nothing in return but to be left to live her life in peace and be given back her name, for her own sake and that of her family. If the families of the victims of Ann Putnam could forgive her and accept her back into their community, the least we could do is be grateful that in a climate that is widely unforgiving in regards to MeToo allegations, cancel culture and coerced wokeness, she made the difficult decision to speak the truth. It is incumbent upon us to hold those accountable who manipulated and pressured Ashley to do the wrong thing and put her in this difficult position, and right now this is being done in the context of Marilyn Manson's trial against Evan Rachel Wood and Illma Gore.
Thank you, Ashley!