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Esme Bianco sues Marilyn Manson for rape, sexual assault and trafficking

Esme Bianco and Marilyn Manson
(Image credit: Getty)

Content warning: This article contains descriptions of alleged sexual assault and sexual battery

Esme Bianco has sued Marilyn Manson – real name Brian Warner – for rape, sexual battery and human trafficking. The Game Of Thrones actor has also named Warner's manager Tony Ciulla and his company Ciulla Management as defendants in the lawsuit which was filed today in a United States District Court for the Central District of California.

The lawsuit states: “Mr. Warner used drugs, force, and threats of force to coerce sexual acts from Ms. Bianco on multiple occasions. Mr. Warner raped Ms. Bianco in or around May 2011.” 

It also claims that Warner “committed sexual acts” with Bianco when she was unconscious or unable to consent, and goes into detail about claims of sexual battery levied against the singer. “These acts include spanking, biting, cutting, and whipping Ms. Bianco’s buttocks, breasts, and genitals for Mr. Warner’s sexual gratification — all without the consent of Plaintiff.” 

The complaint accuses Warner of fraudulently bringing Bianco to the US to star in the video for his song I Want To Kill You Like They Do In The Movies as well as a movie that never happened, coercively controlling her once she arrived. "He promised work opportunities that never appeared while inserting himself in her visa process... By inserting himself in Ms. Bianco’s visa process, Mr. Warner was able to control Ms. Bianco by threatening to withdraw support if she displeased him."

The complaint claims that Warner, Ciulla and his company Ciulla Management violated the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act by offering her work that never transpired in order to lure her to the US. Ciulla severed ties with Manson in February this year when the allegations first came to light, but Bianco claims he is also responsible as he served to benefit financially from “allowing this abuse to continue.”

The lawsuit also details psychological abuse in the form of sleep deprivation, food deprivation and the forced taking of drugs all “in order to weaken her physically and mentally and decrease her ability to refuse him.”

In a statement issued to Rolling Stone, Bianco says: "As millions of survivors like myself are painfully aware, our legal system is far from perfect. This is why I co-created the Phoenix Act, a law which gives precious additional healing time to thousands of domestic violence survivors. But while I fight for a more just legal system, I am also pursuing my right to demand my abuser be held to account, using every avenue available to me.

“For far too long, my abuser has been left unchecked, enabled by money, fame, and an industry that turned a blind eye. Despite the numerous brave women who have spoken out against Marilyn Manson, countless survivors remain silenced, and some of their voices will never be heard. My hope is that by raising mine, I will help to stop Brian Warner from shattering any more lives and empower other victims to seek their own small measure of justice.”

Manson’s attorney Howard E. King has responded to the suit, saying: "These claims are provably false. To be clear, this suit was only filed after my client refused to be shaken down by Ms. Bianco and her lawyer and give in to their outrageous financial demands based on conduct that simply never occurred. We will vigorously contest these allegations in court and are confident that we will prevail."

Bianco first spoke out about Warner’s alleged abuse in an interview with The Cut this February, days after Evan Rachel Wood and multiple other women named Manson as their abuser. This is the first lawsuit to be brought against Warner since those allegations came to light. The papers can be seen in full below.