Marilyn Manson's former assistant wins the right to sue the singer for sexual assault, abuse and harassment during a "horrific" year working for him

Marilyn Manson
(Image credit: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Marilyn Manson’s former personal assistant Ashley Walters has had her lawsuit against her former employer reinstated after a court in California upheld her appeal against an earlier ruling that dismissed her claim.

Walters originally filed her lawsuit in May 2021, alleging that her former employer, real name Brian Warner, subjected her to “personal and professional sexual exploitation, manipulation and psychological abuse.” But in May 2022, a Los Angeles Superior Court judge dismissed the case over the statute of limitations, which expired after two years from the alleged crimes. Now a judge presiding at a California Second Appellate District tribunal has reversed that ruling, sending the case back to the judge for trial.

Walters 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 went 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.” Walters' year-long employment with Manson ended in October 2011.

In her appeal, Walters argued that while the alleged abuse at Manson's hands took place during her “horrific” year working for the singer, the typical two-year statute of limitations didn’t apply because she had suppressed her memories until 2020. Finding in her favour, the court stated, “Walters’s allegations of delayed discovery were sufficient to withstand demurrer, and we reverse.”

“This is a great victory for all survivors as it provides a clear path for issues of repressed memories and delayed discovery in these types of cases," Walters’s lawyer, James Vagnini, told Rolling Stone. “I think the court is very firm in articulating a very clear decision as to why survivors have repressed memories and why that should be relevant when they come forward later in life to bring those claims.” 

In September, Manson reached a settlement with an anonymous claimant who alleged he raped her in 2011. In January he reached a separate settlement with actress Esmé Bianco, a former girlfriend, who had alleged that Manson physically, sexually, psychological, and emotionally abused her on multiple occasions, and raped her “in or around May 2011.” 

Paul Brannigan
Contributing Editor, Louder

A music writer since 1993, formerly Editor of Kerrang! and Planet Rock magazine (RIP), Paul Brannigan is a Contributing Editor to Louder. 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. Born in the North of Ireland, Brannigan lives in North London and supports The Arsenal.