Note: This article contains descriptions of suspected sexual assault.
Ashley Walters, a woman who previously worked as an assistant for Marilyn Manson, is suing the singer for sexual assault, battery and harassment, reports The Cut. According to court documents from The Cut (and viewed by Pitchfork), Walters alleges that Manson physically and mentally abused her during her tenure as his employee. When a member of Manson’s team reached for a comment from Pitchfork, he denied any allegations of assault.
Walters’ lawsuit was filed today (May 18) in the Los Angeles County Superior Court. The opening speeches stated that Manson “used his position of power, notoriety and connections to exploit and harass Walters while they were employed,” and that he lured her into the job with “promises of artistic collaboration and creative opportunity.” “The reality was that he wanted to create an environment in which the plaintiff was exposed to personal and professional sexual exploitation, manipulation and psychological abuse,” the complaint continues.
Walters joined Manson in 2010 after the singer reached out to her on social media to “compliment her photography,” the complaint read. 37-year-old Walters was a 26-year-old aspiring photographer at the time. Walters claimed that after some correspondence, she went to Manson’s West Hollywood home to “discuss possible creative collaborations” and was allegedly directed to park on a commercial lot behind Manson’s house. The complaint states that when Walters tried to leave later that night, Manson informed her that the parking lot would be closed until morning. Walters claimed Manson asked her to do a photoshoot, which she agreed to before Manson allegedly insisted that she take off her shirt. Walters claims she eventually took off her shirt but put on her bra.
After the photoshoot, according to the lawsuit, Manson allegedly pushed Walters onto his bed, nailed her arms and tried to kiss her on the lips. The complaint states that after Walters moved away, Manson “stepped behind Walters and bit her ear while he took her hand and put it in his underwear.” The suit continues: “Walters stepped away from the defendant and when she realized it was now after 7 a.m. she was able to leave.”
Following the alleged incident, the lawsuit alleges that Manson “bombed” [Walters] with text messages praising her and telling her how much he loved her conversations and was looking forward to working with her. “Walters said he offered her double her salary if she would work for him. “She knew it could be an incredible opportunity to get involved in creative entertainment,” the lawsuit reads, and Walters accepted the job as Manson’s assistant. “She unconsciously made the decision to focus on their mutual interests and ignore the traumatic experience of being pinned to his bed,” the complaint read.
Throughout her tenure at Manson, Walters claims that she was often expected to work 48 hours straight, and she was constantly afraid of Manson’s outbursts and threats, including allegedly throwing her dishes and threatening suicide and bumped it up against a wall. The suit claims that Manson “frequently destroyed furniture, electronics and other furnishings in his home during tantrums”. It is also said that Manson “deliberately created an isolating atmosphere and refused to allow Walters to visit family or take time off on most holidays.”
At one point during an awards ceremony in 2010, Manson allegedly “pushed Walters onto an actor’s lap and bragged that he could have her,” the complaint said. “It made me feel like I was his property,” Walters told the Cut. “I just felt like a piece of meat.” The lawsuit also states that Manson “ordered his employees to say harmful or insulting things or wear Nazi paraphernalia while he was recording them so that he would have security in case they speak out against him. He also broke into employees’ personal computers in hopes of finding malicious information that he could use as blackmail. “
Walters’ complaint sets out numerous allegations of physical, psychological and sexual abuse. Walters is one of several women who have made 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 others. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is now investigating domestic violence allegations against Manson.
If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, we encourage you to seek support:
RAINN National Hotline for Sexual Assault
1 800 656 HOPE (4673)
Line of crisis text
http://www.facebook.com/crisistextline (chat support)
SMS: Text “HERE” to 741-741