Note: This article contains descriptions of alleged sexual assault.
Ashley Walters, a woman who used to work as an assistant for Marilyn Manson, is suing the singer for sexual assault, battery, and harassment, The Cut reports. According to court documents obtained by The Cut (and viewed by Pitchfork), Walters alleges that Manson physically and psychologically abused her during her tenure as his employee. When reached for comment by Pitchfork, a member of Manson’s team denied any accusations of assault.
Walters’ lawsuit was filed today (May 18) in the Superior Court of Los Angeles County. The opening remarks state that Manson “used his position of power, celebrity and connections to exploit and victimize” Walters during her employment, and that he lured her into the job “with promises of artistic collaborations and creative opportunities.” “The reality was that he was looking to create an environment where Plaintiff was subjected to personal and professional sexual exploitation, manipulation and psychological abuse,” the complaint continues.
Walters began working for Manson in 2010 after the singer reached out to her on social media to “compliment her photography,” the complaint states. Walters, now 37, was a 26-year-old aspiring photographer at the time. Walters claimed that after some correspondence, she went to Manson’s home in West Hollywood to “discuss potential creative collaborations” and was allegedly instructed to park in a business lot behind Manson’s home. The complaint states that when Walters tried to leave later that night, Manson informed her that the parking lot was closed until the morning. Walters claimed Manson asked her to do a photo shoot, which she agreed to, before Manson allegedly “insisted” that she remove her shirt. Walters claims she eventually removed her shirt, but kept her bra on.
Following the photo shoot, the lawsuit claims, Manson allegedly pushed Walters onto his bed, pinned down her arms, and attempted to kiss her on the lips. The complaint states that after Walters moved away, Manson “moved behind Walters and bit her ear while grabbing her hand and placing it in his underwear.” The suit continues: “Walters again moved away from Defendant and, realizing it was now after 7 a.m., she was able to leave.”
After the alleged incident, the lawsuit claims that Manson “bombarded [Walters] with text messages praising her and telling her how much he loved their conversations and looked forward to working with her.” Walters said he offered her double her salary if she came to work for him. “She knew it could be an incredible opportunity to become involved in the creative entertainment field,” the lawsuit states, and Walters took the job as Manson’s assistant. “She unconsciously made the decision to focus on their shared interests and ignore the traumatizing experience of being pinned to his bed,” the complaint reads.
Throughout the duration of her employment under Manson, Walters alleges that she was often expected to work 48 hours straight and was constantly afraid of Manson’s angry outbursts and threats, which allegedly included him throwing dishes at her, threatening to commit suicide, and pushing her up against a wall. The suit claims that Manson “frequently destroyed furniture, electronics, and other fixtures in his home during fits of rage.” It also states that Manson “intentionally created an atmosphere that was isolating and began refusing to allow Walters to visit family on most holidays or take any time off.”
At one point during an awards show in 2010, Manson allegedly “pushed Walters onto the lap of an actor and bragged that he could ‘have her,’” the complaint states. “It made me feel like I was his property,” Walters told the Cut. “It just made me feel like a piece of meat.” The suit also states that Manson “ordered his employees to say damaging or offensive things or wear Nazi paraphernalia while he recorded them so that he would have collateral in the event they spoke out against him. He also broke into his employees’ personal computers in hopes of finding damaging information he could use as blackmail.”
There are numerous allegations of physical, psychological, and sexual abuse outlined in Walters’ complaint. Walters is one of multiple women who have come forward with similar allegations against Manson in the past few months, including his former girlfriend Evan Rachel Wood, Wolf Alice’s Ellie Rowsell, Game of Thrones Actress Esmé Bianco, and more. As of now, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is investigating domestic violence allegations against Manson.
If you or someone you know has been affected by sexual assault, we encourage you to reach out for support:
RAINN National Sexual Assault Hotline
1 800 656 HOPE (4673)
Crisis Text Line
http://www.facebook.com/crisistextline (chat support)
SMS: Text “HERE” to 741-741