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Marilyn Manson’s former assistant speaks of threats and intimidation as singer’s lawyers attempt to shut down her lawsuit

Manson
(Image credit: Press)

Marilyn Manson’s former personal assistant Ashley Walters is fighting a motion by the singer’s lawyers to have her lawsuit against him thrown out due to the statute-of-limitations on pressing charges of sexual harassment and assault. Walters argues that these time limits are invalid as Manson had used threats of violence to intimidate her into silence. 

“There’s a host of unconscionable conduct that deterred her from filing suit, not just threats but also violence and intimidation and other coercive acts,” Walters’ lawyer Tanya Sukhija-Cohen tells Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Michael J. Stern. 

Walters filed her lawsuit in May, alleging that her former employer, real name Brian Warner, subjected her to “personal and professional sexual exploitation, manipulation and psychological abuse.” She claims that during their first meeting, at Manson’s house in 2010, that the singer attempted to pin her on a bed to kiss her, bit her ear and placed her hand in his underwear.

The lawsuit goes on to describes Manson’s “drug induced fits of rage”, which included physical violence towards Walters. It also alleges that Manson “routinely encourage, promoted and expected Walters to ‘please’ his friends in whatever way they desired", adding that unnamed acquaintances of the singer sexually harassed and groped her. The singer also allegedly showed Walters a video of him abusing and whipping a young fan, and told her “he wanted to kill women, that he had gotten away with raping women, and that he had the ability to ‘destroy lives.” Her year-long employment with Manson ended in October 2011.

Walters’ lawyers saw that it wasn’t until she attended a support group organised by other Warner accusers and attended therapy “that the effects of the unconscionable conduct by Mr. Warner ceased.”

Manson’s lawyers argue that the case should be dismissed.

“The bottom line is the statute of limitations on these claims ran out two to three years after her employment ended,” lawyer Gene Williams told Judge Stern. “There were no threats that prevented her from coming forward, nor any allegations of threats in the complaint between the time period when her employment ended and when she finally came forward. The idea that they can now take threats, or allegations of threats, from 2019 and 2021, years after the statutory period ended, and claim that those threats now explain why she didn’t bring her suit eight years earlier than those threats, is insufficient.”

Stern has yet to rule on the motion. 

Manson also faces lawsuits in California from three other women.

Game Of Thrones actress Esmé Bianco, a former girlfriend of the singer, filed her suit in April, alleging that Manson physically, sexually, psychological, and emotionally abused her on multiple occasions, and raped her “in or around May 2011.” Another ex-girlfriend, American model/actress Ashley Morgan Smithline, is accusing the singer of sexual assault, sexual battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, human trafficking, and unlawful imprisonment. Another woman who has chosen to remain anonymous and is referred to in court documents simply as Jane Doe, says she was raped by the singer who later made death threats against her. 

In the forthcoming HBO documentary Phoenix Rising, Manson’s former fiancee, actress Evan Rachel Wood, alleges said the singer “essentially raped” her during the filming of the video for his 2007 single Heart-Shaped Glasses: Manson’s lawyer Howard King has denied the claim, stating “Brian did not have sex with Evan on that set, and she knows that is the truth.”

Paul Brannigan
Paul Brannigan

A music writer since 1993, formerly Editor of Kerrang! and Planet Rock magazine (RIP), Paul Brannigan is a Contributing Editor to Louder and Metal Hammer. Having previously written books on Lemmy, Dave Grohl (the Sunday Times best-seller This Is A Call) and Metallica (Birth School Metallica Death, co-authored with Ian Winwood), his Eddie Van Halen biography (Eruption in the UK, Unchained in the US) emerged in 2021. He has written for Rolling Stone, Mojo and Q, hung out with Fugazi at Dischord House, flown on Ozzy Osbourne's private jet, played Angus Young's Gibson SG, and interviewed everyone from Aerosmith and Beastie Boys to Young Gods and ZZ Top. Brannigan lives in North London and supports The Arsenal.