Marilyn Manson Sued for 1990s Sexual Battery of a Minor


Marilyn Manson

Marilyn Manson, February 2019 (George Pimentel/Getty Images)

Marilyn Manson Sued for 1990s Sexual Battery of a Minor

A woman claims that Manson sexually abused her multiple times in 1995 when she was 16 years old

Note: This article includes details of alleged assault that readers may find disturbing.

Marilyn Manson has been sued by a woman who claims that the musician sexually abused her in the 1990s when he was an adult and she was a minor, Rolling Stone reports and Pitchfork can confirm.

The lawsuit was filed in a New York court today (January 30) and also names Interscope Records and Nothing Records (John Malm Jr. and Trent Reznor’s former Interscope subsidiary) as defendants. The woman is identified in the lawsuit as Jane Doe. Formally, the lawsuit accuses Manson of sexual battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress, and accuses Interscope and Nothing of negligence and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Doe is seeking unspecified damages.

According to the complaint, Jane Doe first met Marilyn Manson (whose real name is Brian Warner) at age 16 after attending his September 15, 1995, concert in Dallas, Texas. She, along with “three other underage female fans,” were apparently waiting outside the venue to meet Manson. The musician allegedly asked the girls “what each of their ages were, what grades in school they were in, and where their parents were at the time,” before inviting Jane Doe “and one of the other younger girls onto the tour bus.”

On the tour bus, according to the lawsuit, “Warner performed various acts of criminal sexual conduct upon Plaintiff [Jane Doe], who was a virgin at the time, including but not limited to forced copulation and vaginal penetration.” The lawsuit continues, “One of the 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. Plaintiff is informed and thereon alleges that all of the sexually abusive and harassing conduct alleged herein was done to satisfy Defendant Warner’s own prurient sexual desires. Then Defendant Warner demanded Plaintiff to ‘get the fuck off of my bus’ and threatened Plaintiff that, if she told anyone, he would kill her and her family.”

Following the alleged assault, Manson’s manager apparently gave Doe a phone number and password to “‘stay in touch’” with Manson and the band. Manson, in turn, allegedly began to call Doe at her home, “soliciting Plaintiff to send explicit sexual photos of her and her friends to his fan club, Satan’s Bakesale.”

On December 9, 1995, after more communication with Manson, Doe allegedly attended his concert in New Orleans and was again brought to the musician’s tour bus after the show. On the bus, the lawsuit states, Manson “groomed Plaintiff by complimenting her, playing with her hair and looking at the photos and drawings she brought with her.” In addition, Manson allegedly sexually assaulted Doe, as did “[a]nother man involved with the tour.”

In the lawsuit, Doe claims that she reestablished contact with Manson in 1999 when she was 19 years old. Doe alleges that Manson coerced her to have sex with him and sexually abused her multiple times, including in Nassau County, New York, where the lawsuit was filed.

At the time of the alleged assaults, Marilyn Manson was signed to John Malm Jr. and Trent Reznor’s Interscope subsidiary, Nothing Records. The lawsuit includes detailed descriptions of the labels’ promotion of Manson’s music and argues, “Defendant Interscope and Defendant Nothing Records promoted Defendant Warner’s pedophilia and violence for added publicity and financial gain.”

In addition, the lawsuit states, “Through the inclusion of this brazen message, even if dramatized, Defendant Interscope and Defendant Nothing Records knew or should have known that Defendant Warner was likely using his fan club to solicit and transmit child pornography to and from minors.”

Doe and her lawyers argue that the labels “knew or should have known that Defendant Warner was habitually and routinely engaged in sexual misconduct with young adults and underage children throughout the country.” As a result, they claim that the labels were negligent by not protecting her from Manson.

In a February 2021 statement, Trent Reznor denounced Marilyn Manson after a passage from Manson’s memoir resurfaced. In the book, Manson recounts a horrific scene in which he and Reznor allegedly physically and sexually assaulted an inebriated woman in the 1990s. Reznor, in his statement, said, “I have been vocal over the years about my dislike of Manson as a person and cut ties with him nearly 25 years ago. As I said at the time, the passage from Manson’s memoir is a complete fabrication. I was infuriated and offended back when it came out and remain so today.”

In a statement shared with Pitchfork, one of Jane Doe’s attorneys, Karen Barth Menzies of KBM Law, said

Sexual predators in the music industry don’t act alone. It takes a network of people to aid and protect the artists who commit these heinous acts. In order for there to be meaningful changes in the music industry, we have to do more than just hold the predators accountable. We have to force the record companies to acknowledge the crimes they allow to occur, and in some instances facilitate, and we have to force them to take responsibility for permitting and profiting from outrageous criminal behavior.

In addition, Doe’s other attorney, Jeffrey R. Anderson, told Rolling Stone:

This suit by this survivor is a giant step in bringing light and heat to an industry that has been hiding perils in plain sight. It’s time to face the music. New laws give survivors the time to take real action for justice and protection. Powerful new laws in New York and California give adult survivors the chance to take legal action against predators and those that protect and profit from them.

We are grateful to the survivors and so many others who now align with us to expose the predators and those in the music industry that have… permitted, promoted, and profiteered from his violence against the vulnerable.

In a statement shared with Pitchfork, Manson’s attorney Howard King said:

“Brian Warner does not know this individual and has no recollection of ever having met her 28 years ago. He certainly was never intimate with her. She has been shopping her fabricated tale to tabloids and on podcasts for more than two years. But even the most minimal amount of scrutiny reveals the obvious discrepancies in her ever-shifting stories as well as her extensive collusion with other false accusers.

“If anyone actually compares the vicious lies in the new complaint with the contents of prior interviews this woman has given to the press and on podcasts, the remarkable inconsistencies will demonstrate why this misguided action will not survive legal examination. Brian will not submit to this shakedown—and the courts won’t fall for it either.”

Pitchfork has reached out to representatives for Interscope Records for comment and additional information.

Marilyn Manson has faced a number of abuse allegations since Evan Rachel Wood, in 2021, publicly alleged that the musician groomed and “horrifically abused” her for years. He was sued for abuse by Esmé Bianco, Ashley Morgan Smithline, Ashley Walters, and a woman identified as Jane Doe. Bianco and Manson recently settled the lawsuit, so that the actress can “move on with her life and career”; Smithline’s lawsuit was dismissed after she missed a court deadline; and Walters’ lawsuit was dismissed after a judge ruled that her allegations surpassed the statute of limitations. Doe’s suit is ongoing.

Beginning in 2021, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Special Victims Bureau spent over a year investigating sexual assault allegations involving Marilyn Manson. The bureau submitted the case to the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office for review and complaint filing consideration.

Evan Rachel Wood detailed allegations of Manson’s abuse in the documentary Phoenix Rising. Manson has since sued Wood for defamation.

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
SMS: Text “HELLO” or “HOLA” to 741-741

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