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Marilyn Manson Sued Over Allegations of Sexual Assault of a Minor

todayJanuary 30, 2023

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[Trigger warning: this article contains descriptions of domestic violence, as well as sexual and physical abuse.]


Marilyn Manson is the subject of a new lawsuit alleging sexual misconduct. The suit by the woman — identified anonymously as “Jane Doe” in the filing — alleges that the singer, now 54, groomed and sexually assaulted the then-underage girl during the early portion of his career.

Manson (born Brian Warner) is named as a defendant in the suit filed in Nassau County Supreme Court in Long Island, New York, alongside former labels Interscope and Nothing Records in a filing that includes accusations of sexual battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress against the singer, and negligence and intentional infliction of emotional distress against the labels.

The suit says Doe, then 16, first met Manson in 1995 after a show in Dallas when she waited outside his tour bus and the singer invited her and “one of the other younger girls” onto his tour bus where he allegedly asked for their ages and school grades while jotting down their phone numbers and addresses.

A spokesperson for Manson and the singer’s lawyer had not returned a request for comment on the Doe lawsuit at press time, and a spokesperson for Interscope/Universal Music Group had not yet responded to a request for comment.

“While on the tour bus, Defendant Warner performed various acts of criminal sexual conduct upon Plaintiff, who was a virgin at the time, including but not limited to forced copulation and vaginal penetration,” the lawsuit claims. At the time, the age of consent in Texas was (and still is) 17 and the suit notes that one of Manson’s band members watched “Defendant Warner sexually assault Plaintiff… Plaintiff was in pain, scared, upset, humiliated and confused. After he was done, Defendant Warner laughed at her. … Then Defendant Warner demanded Plaintiff to ‘get the f–k off of my bus’ and threatened Plaintiff that, if she told anyone, he would kill her and her family.”

More than a dozen women have accused Manson of sexual, emotional and physical assault, including actress Evan Rachel Wood, who was the subject of the two-part HBO documentary Phoenix Rising last year that delved into her claims of the abuse she claims she allegedly suffered at the rocker’s hand during an on-and-off relationship that began when she was 18.

Manson and one of his accusers, actress Esme Bianco, recently reached a settlement to end her sexual assault lawsuit, and earlier in the month a judge dismissed another sexual abuse suit from model Ashley Morgan Smithline over her failure to find a new lawyer. Last May, an L.A. Superior Court judge dismissed a suit against Manson filed by a former personal assistant alleging sexual assault, sexual battery, sexual harassment and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Manson has denied the allegations.

The new Jane Doe lawsuit alleges that a member of Manson’s crew gave her a 1-800 number and a password so she could meet up with the singer again, noting that the teen began using drugs and alcohol soon after the alleged sexual assault, and continued to do so for years after. The suit also alleges that Manson would call and chat online with the teen while asking her for explicit photos of her and her friends.

In the same year they met, Doe claims that Manson convinced the teen to meet him in New Orleans, where he “groomed” her by complimenting her artwork before he became more “aggressive and again sexually assaulted Plaintiff, including kissing, biting her breast, oral copulation, and penetration,” the complaint alleges. “After the second assault, Defendant Warner acted in a kinder manner nicer to Plaintiff and told her that he wanted to see her again.” As with Texas, the age of consent in Louisiana at the time was, and is, 17.

Doe said she continued to be in touch with Manson and his band, and when she was 18 moved to Los Angeles and began dating then-Nine Inch Nails drummer Chris Vrenna. (Billboard has reached out to Vrenna for comment.) In 1999, she allegedly attended a Manson show in New Orleans, describing a typical backstage scene that included “the availability of large amounts of drugs for her and others to use.” The suit claims that the woman then spent the next month on the road with Manson, taking drugs and spending time with the disgraced singer during which he would “groom, harass and sexually abuse” her.

The suit goes on to describe Manson’s increasing psychological control over Doe, in which he allegedly “purposefully and intentionally laid the groundwork necessary to intimidate and control her … As he did on countless occasions, Defendant Warner exploited this vulnerability to keep Plaintiff under his control. Defendant Warner often made Plaintiff feel alone and isolated by telling her that no one understands her other than him, which included her family. At the time, Plaintiff believed Defendant Warner and was compelled to keep following him.”

The suit claims the alleged controlling and grooming behavior continued — including “coerce[ing] Plaintiff to have sex with him and other band members or his assistant at the same time,” while “providing Plaintiff with drugs.”

In details that bear a resemblance to allegations from a number of the other women who’ve accused Manson of abuse, Doe’s lawsuit claims that the singer employed “hostile and verbally abusive behavior,” as well as racially charged language mixed with the sharing of intimate personal details. The suit also claims that Interscope and Nothing Records “were well-aware of Defendant Warner’s obsession with sexual violence and childhood sexual assault,” and that the labels did not have a “reasonable system or procedure in place to investigate, supervise, or monitor its staff and/or agents, including Defendant Warner, to prevent pre-sexual grooming and sexual harassment, molestation, and assault of fans, including minors and women.”

The suit continues, “As a result of Brian Warner’s sexual abuse and assault, enabled and encouraged by Defendants Interscope and Nothing Records, Plaintiff has suffered severe emotional, physical, and psychological distress, including shame, and guilt, economic loss, economic capacity and emotional loss.”

Doe is seeking damages to be determined at trial and an order “enjoining Defendants from future unlawful business practices including, but not limited to, exposing minors and vulnerable adults to sexual abuse and exploitation.”

Stories about sexual assault allegations can be traumatizing for survivors of sexual assault. If you or anyone you know needs support, you can reach out to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN). The organization provides free, confidential support to sexual assault victims. Call RAINN’s National Sexual Assault Hotline (800.656.HOPE) or visit the anti-sexual violence organization’s website for more information.

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