Content warning: This story contains discussion and description of sexual assault.
Marilyn Manson’s former assistant Ashley Walters is suing the singer for sexual assault, battery, and harassment.
This is the second lawsuit brought against the musician in as many months, with Game of Thrones actor Esme Bianco filing one in late April alleging sexual assault, physical abuse, and human trafficking.
According to a report by The Cut, the complaint was filed on Tuesday (May 18) in the Superior Court of Los Angeles County. When contacted by NME for comment on Walters’ lawsuit, a member of Manson’s team “vehemently denied any accusations of assault”.
Walters was a 26-year-old aspiring photographer when she was contacted by Manson via MySpace in May 2010, the legal documents published by The Cut detail. The musician proposed a collaboration, inviting Walters to his West Hollywood home to continue discussions.
The lawsuit alleges that the pair conducted a photoshoot, after which Manson allegedly pinned Walters on his bed, attempting a kiss that Walters turned away from before biting her ear and placing her hand in his underwear. Walters moved away from Manson and left his home soon after.
Though Walters left that first meeting with Manson “feeling confusion and fear”, the lawsuit says 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”.
Manson reportedly worked on more photoshoots with Walters where more incidents allegedly 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”.
During this period of artistic collaboration, the lawsuit alleges that Manson sent Walters messages praising her and their work, and was “overly effusive in praising Walters”. The lawsuit claims, “His expert manipulation was both calculated and effective. Walters pushed away thoughts about the abuse she endured while in [Manson’s] physical presence.”
Around August 2010, Walters accepted an offer from Manson to be his personal assistant. But while working for Manson, she allegedly faced a litany of incidents amid an “atmosphere that was isolating”, the lawsuit claims. On multiple occasions, Walters was forced to stay up for 48 hours straight. Manson allegedly broke into angry outbursts, breaking furniture and household items that he would purportedly berate her for not cleaning up fast enough.
The lawsuit also alleges that Manson “commonly offered Walters up to influential industry friends and associates”. In one such alleged incident at the 2010 Spike TV Scream Awards in Los Angeles, Manson pushed Walters onto the lap of an unnamed actor, saying that he could “have her”. The actor then kissed Walters and “kept” her on his lap.
The lawsuit also recounts another similar incident in which Walters, “offered up” to “an industry friend and director”, was allegedly groped by this unnamed director through the night. In 2011, Manson had been hired to perform for a “wealthy musician”. Walters was allegedly instructed by Manson to get intimate with the musician, who groped her and “engaged in inappropriate behavior”, allegedly at Manson’s encouragement.
The lawsuit also alleges Manson began to smear Walters’ reputation in mid-2011, and “physically and verbally threatened her”.
Manson’s former fiancée Evan Rachel Wood was one of a few women who publicly brought allegations of abuse against the musician in February. Wood had previously testified about alleged abuse in 2018 without naming Manson.
Manson denied the allegations, calling the claims “horrible distortions of reality”. He wrote on Instagram that his “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.”
Manson also denied through his lawyer allegations made by Esme Bianco in the lawsuit she filed in April. “These claims are provably false,” read a statement by Manson’s lawyer Howard E. King.
“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.”
In the months since the allegations emerged, Manson has been dropped by his record label Loma Vista, his booking agent CAA and longtime manager Tony Ciulla. His appearances were also removed from TV shows American Gods and the Creepshow anthology.