California Judge Tosses Marilyn Manson Sexual Assault Lawsuit

Marilyn Manson sexual assault lawsuit dropped
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Marilyn Manson sexual assault lawsuit dropped
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Photo Credit: Festivalsommer / CC by 3.0

A sexual assault lawsuit against Marilyn Manson has been tossed by a California judge.

The lawsuit was dismissed on Wednesday after a Los Angeles County judge found the statute of limitations had lapsed. Marilyn Manson’s former assistant Ashley Walters alleged the shock rocker was physically and emotionally abusive to her.

“The plaintiff has pled too few facts to keep this complaint in court, and too late, most importantly,” Judge Michael Stern said of the dismissal. Ashley Walters first sued Marilyn Manson in May 2021. Manson’s lawyers argue the allegations in the lawsuit from 2011 and 2012 fell outside the statute of limitations in California. The judge gave Walters permission to file an amended complaint in which she said she had suppressed the memory of abusive behavior.

The amended complaint argued that Walters was “unable to recall many of the physical and emotional abuses until the fall of 2020 when countless repressed memories flooded back after meeting numerous other victims of [Manson] and obtaining counseling from a mental health professional.”

Victims of sexual assault and harassment have up to three years to file a lawsuit in the state of California. That law changed in 2020, when California legislature passed a law extending the time limit to ten years. Judge Stern says that he understood the new law not to be retroactive, which means it applies only to allegations made after 2020. Ashley Walters’ attorneys say they disagree with the judges’ interpretation of the new law and will file an appeal.

“Nobody gets to choose exactly how they process abuse or threats,” Walters says. “I am disheartened in the court’s decision today not just for my case, but for the message it sends to other survivors out there trying to balance how they process abuse without arbitrary court guidelines.”

Meanwhile, attorneys for Marilyn Manson argued that Walters claims were contradictory. At times Walters said the memories of sexual assault were repressed, but other times said the behavior immediately intimidated her. “The allegations ended in 2022. There is no justification for not bringing the suit for 10 years after that,” says Gene Williams, an attorney for Manson.

Despite this dismissal, Marilyn Manson still faces several sexual misconduct lawsuits. Actress Esmé Bianco claims Manson raped her. Ex-girlfriend Ashley Morgan Smithline says he sexually assaulted her and cut and whipped her body.