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Marilyn Manson sued by former assistant for sexual harassment

Posted by on May 20, 2021

 

Shock rocker Marilyn Manson is facing yet another lawsuit, this time from his former assistant. 

Ashley Walters filed the suit against Manson (real name Brian Warner) and his company Marilyn Manson Records, Inc., accusing him of sexual assault, sexual harassment, sexual battery, intentional emotional distress and for breaking of several of California’s civil codes. 

According to Rolling Stone, who first reported on the lawsuit, Walters met Warner through social media in March 2010 and two months later got together in person, at which point he sexually assaulted her. He then brought up the idea of collaborating professionally and she agreed, having a fairly civil working relationship for a short period. Then he held a promotion to Director of Photography over her head until she “auditioned” by appearing in a video wearing underwear and a Nazi jacket. 

When she became his personal assistant in August 2010, the abuses kept coming. Walters recalls being on the receiving end of Warner’s “explosive temper,” destroying furniture and berating her if she took too long doing a task. She also relates being “forced upon” his friends and collaborators, mentioning episodes where unnamed actors and musicians would grope and kiss her without consent. Walters then mentions that Warner would show her a video of himself abusing a fan, who she says was a minor when the video was filmed. 

Walters also accuses Warner of filming people and gathering information for potential blackmail. In the suit, she says that he would film people in Nazi paraphernalia saying offensive or damaging things, as well as search people’s personal computers for information, so he could extort them. 

She also claims to have been witness to the abuses Warner unleashed on his girlfriends. Walters says she served food to them while they were hiding in fear in the guest bathroom. She also recalls watching Warner throw a prop skull at actress Evan Rachel Wood (his then girlfriend) that left a giant welt on Wood’s stomach. 

The suit says that he would also brag about raping people and would degrade his fans. Walters mentions one story where Warner claims he had sex with one of his fans and took their virginity. 

Walters was one of more than a dozen women to come forward in February with stories of abuse at the hands of Warner, a list that also includes former girlfriends Wood, actress Esme Bianco and actress Ashley Morgan Smithline. She is the second to file a lawsuit against him for the abuse. Bianco filed one on April 30 for sexual assault and trafficking. 

Most recently, Smithline came forward with her full story to People Magazine. 

Valli, Kane & Vagnini, Walters’ team of attorneys, praised her in a statement, saying, 

“It is a privilege and an honor to represent Ashley who made the difficult-but-brave decision to come forward about this horrific experience. Through this lawsuit, she seeks accountability from her abuser to not only ensure it does not continue to happen to other women, but also to provide strength and courage to other survivors who have suffered trauma at the hands of those who regularly abuse their power and influence. In recent years, thanks to people like Ashley and other survivors of Marilyn Manson, legislators and courts have begun recognizing the strength and time it takes survivors to come forward. We are grateful to Ashley and other survivors who are fighting to be heard after the abuse they endured.”

A member of Warner’s team “vehemently denied” the assault accusations. The singer has continued to maintain his innocence since the allegations began in February, saying at the time

“Obviously, my art and my life have long been magnets for controversy, but these recent claims about me are horrible distortions of reality. My intimate relationships have always been entirely consensual with like-minded partners. Regardless of how – and why – others are now choosing to misrepresent the past, that is the truth.”

Since February, Warner has been dropped by his record label Loma Vista, manager Tony Ciulla, and booking agent CAA. His scheduled appearances on “Creepshow” and “American Gods” were also cut. 

With her suit, Walters seeks back pay, lost wages and an unspecified amount of damages, as well as any images he has of her gotten rid of. She also asks that he gets rid of any explicit photos of other women to which he doesn’t have written consent. Lastly, she asks that anyone associated with Marilyn Manson Records, Inc. be submitted to anti-sexual assault and anti-sexual harassment training. 

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