Content warning: This story contains discussion and description of claims of sexual assault.
A civil lawsuit filed by a woman who worked as a personal assistant for Marilyn Manson, has been dismissed.
A Los Angeles Superior Court judge ended the case over the statute of limitations, which expired after two years from the alleged crimes, reports Rolling Stone.
Ashley Walters’ initial suit against the vocalist, whose real name is Brian Warner, alleged sexual assault, sexual battery, sexual harassment, and intentional infliction of emotional distress, among other claims. She had initially named Warner’s label, Marilyn Manson Records, Inc., as a co-defendant.
Manson has denied all allegations levelled at him by Walters, claiming that she and other accusers were “cynically and dishonestly seeking to monetise and exploit the #MeToo movement” by launching a “coordinated attack against him”.
“The plaintiff has pleaded too few facts and too late to keep this case in court,” Judge Michael Stern said.
“Reading the first amended complaint as a whole, [Walters] pleads that [she] was aware of the actions against her by the time she left her employment. Thus, nine to 10 years passed until the filing of the action, far beyond the two-year limitations periods of her claims.”
Walters claimed Manson approached her in March 2010 to compliment her photography. They later met up when Manson allegedly asked her to undress for photos, eventually forcing her hand into his underwear, Walters claimed in the suit.
Though Walters left that first meeting with Manson “feeling confusion and fear”, the lawsuit said she “also felt excitement about their creative connection and similar artistic interests”, and “made the decision to… ignore the traumatizing experience of being pinned to his bed”.
She officially agreed to work as his personal assistant in August 2010.
Manson reportedly worked on more photoshoots with Walters where Walters claims more incidents took place, including a shoot where an unnamed actor, hired by Manson, “threw her against the wall and roughly shoved his tongue into her mouth”.
She also alleged he fostered an environment of violence, once breaking down the door to a closet where she was hiding from him and abusing his girlfriends. She claimed she saw him throw a prop skull at actress Evan Rachel Wood so forcefully that it left a welt on her stomach.
Walters also claimed he would hide drugs in her luggage at airports, and allegedly plied her with cocaine to get her to work up to 48 hours straight. He is said to have fired her in October 2011.
In March this year, Walters filed an amended lawsuit explaining that she felt she had repressed memories of Manson’s alleged abuse and battery until recently. She also added that she felt threatened by Warner’s lawyers with “retaliatory legal action” for appearing in Wood’s recently released Phoenix Rising documentary.
Speaking about the verdict yesterday, Walters’ attorneys told Rolling Stone: “We are deeply disappointed in the court’s decision today. If allowed to stand, this decision would drastically limit the ability of victims of abuse to obtain justice through the legal system.
“While the court based its decision on the timeliness of Ashley’s claims and not the merits, we disagree with the court’s interpretation of the law. We remain confident that a full review of the facts in this case will result in a successful appeal, which we plan on filing.”
“Nobody gets to choose exactly how they process abuse or threats,” Walters added. “I am disheartened in the court’s decision today not just for my case, but for the message it sends to other survivors out there trying to balance how they process abuse with arbitrary court deadlines.”
Manson is yet to comment on the verdict.
Meanwhile, he is facing civil lawsuits from several other women who have come forward with their own allegations against him. They include Game Of Thrones actress Esme Bianco, who is suing Manson for alleged sexual assault, physical abuse and human trafficking.
Model Ashley Morgan Smithline, meanwhile, is seeking damages for her claims of sexual assault, sexual battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
Manson denies any wrongdoing.