Marilyn Manson’s recent appearance at Kanye West’s Sunday Service on Halloween stirred up plenty of response, and one of those weighing in after the appearance made headlines is one of his sexual abuse accusers, Ashley Morgan Smithline.
Speaking with People magazine, Smithline stated that seeing Manson back in the public eye was “just like being traumatized.” She had previously filed suit against Manson alleging physical violence as well as psychological and sexual abuse.
“It’s heartbreaking. It makes me sick,” she told the magazine. “How is this the world we live in? It makes everyone really fucking sick. This is just like being retraumatized. And it’s just showing the point that the world doesn’t really care if you rape and if you beat and hurt all these [women], you can do whatever you want, basically, if you have money and you’re a guy and you’re famous.”
Then addressing West, she added, “This man has to know that he is enabling a rapist. He’s enabling an abuser and not just [of] one girl.”
Earlier this year, actress Evan Rachel Wood confirmed that an alleged abuser she had previously alluded to was Manson. After her allegations went public, more allegations against the singer followed, with 15 women coming forward. Smithline is one of three women who currently have active lawsuits against the singer. Manson has denied the allegations, adding that his relationships had “always been entirely consensual with like-minded partners.”
The Sunday Service in question featured not only Kanye West, but pop star Justin Bieber was also in attendance. A source confirmed to People that Bieber was not informed of Manson’s presence prior to the event.
People also reached out to Manson’s reps, with the musician’s spokesperson commenting that the singer was “an integral part” of the service. When asked if Manson was pursuing Christianity, the spokesperson commented that it was “nobody’s business.”
“Throughout his career, Marilyn Manson has collaborated with innovative and legendary artists across all musical genres, and Ye is no exception,” the spokesperson added of Manson’s appearance at the ceremony.
Within the chat, Smithline commented that seeing Manson at Ye’s Sunday Service was just part of the overall trauma, revealing that the fact that he’s still out and about without repercussions remains an issue.
“How’s he having lunch in West Hollywood when we’re sitting here, terrified for our lives, that he is going to kill us?” she says. “We just told all of our truths, we just put ourselves way out there and he’s just fucking around having drinks, having lunch in West Hollywood.”
Smithline added, “So to see Kanye West take his name… and prop up [an] abuser, rapist, anyone to sell albums?… I’m sick to death. And this is the way that our world works and he’s thriving.”
For a closer look at the allegations against Manson, check out the timeline below.
Timeline of Abuse Allegations Against Marilyn Manson
Since actress Evan Rachel Wood first publicly accused Marilyn Manson of sexual abuse in February 2021, similar allegations by others against the musician have also surfaced. Below is a timeline of the developments that have unfolded so far, beginning with Wood’s 2018 testimony that disclosed her alleged abuse but had yet to name an abuser.