Axl Rose Accused Of Violently Sexually Assaulting A Woman In 1989

The Guns N’ Roses frontman allegedly dragged a woman across the floor bleeding before forcibly penetrating her, a new lawsuit claims.
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A new lawsuit accuses Guns N’ Roses frontman Axl Rose of violently sexually assaulting a woman in a “volatile rage” in 1989.

The civil lawsuit from former “Penthouse” model Sheila Kennedy alleges that Rose violently assaulted her in his New York hotel room in 1989 after the pair, both in their mid-20s at the time, met at a nightclub earlier in the evening. In her lawsuit, Kennedy alleges a disturbing sequence of events in which Rose grew increasingly aggressive once they returned to his hotel room, dragging her across the floor bleeding before forcibly penetrating her.

Kennedy first went public with her accusations against Rose in her 2016 autobiography, but her lawsuit was only recently made possible by New York’s Adult Survivors Act, which for one year waives the statute of limitations on civil suits concerning sexual misconduct. This is the last week that plaintiffs can file suits under the act.

According to the lawsuit, Kennedy went with the Guns N’ Roses frontman, TV personality Riki Rachtman and another model from the club back to Rose’s hotel suite, where several people were there partying with drugs and alcohol. Kennedy was initially open to a sexual encounter with Rose, but his behavior began to alarm her after he cleared the suite of everyone but him, her, Rachtman, and the other model, with whom Rose began to have sex.

Axl Rose and Guns N' Roses perform at Glastonbury Festival 2023 in Glastonbury, England.
Axl Rose and Guns N' Roses perform at Glastonbury Festival 2023 in Glastonbury, England.
Harry Durrant via Getty Images

“Kennedy quickly became uncomfortable. Rose was aggressive in a way that appeared painful for the model,” the lawsuit alleges. When Kennedy left the room, she allegedly heard Rose scream at the model, “You’re a fucking whore. Get the fuck out of here!”

Rose then sought out Kennedy in another room and turned his aggression toward her, the lawsuit claims.

“Rose grabbed Kennedy by her robe and knocked her to the floor in the hallway outside Rachtman’s bedroom door,” the lawsuit states. “While Kennedy was still on the ground, Rose grabbed her by the hair and dragged her across the suite back to his bedroom. This was very painful for Kennedy and caused her knees to bleed from scraping on the rug.”

Kennedy frantically tried to get up from the floor and gather her belongings after Rose “dragged [her] to his bedroom like a caveman,” the lawsuit alleges, but Rose then picked her up, threw her on the bed and tied her hands behind her back with a pair of pantyhose.

“Rose then sexually assaulted Kennedy,” the lawsuit continues. “Rose forcibly penetrating Kennedy’s anus with his penis. Rose made no attempt to ask for or check that Kennedy was consenting. He treated her like property used solely for his sexual pleasure. He did not use a condom.”

The experience has left Kennedy with “lifelong emotional, physical, psychological, and financial impacts.”

An agent for Guns N’ Roses did not immediately return a request for comment on the lawsuit.

Kennedy’s filing also claims that Rose “had a reputation within the music industry for frequently aggressive, violent, and sexually hostile behavior” and points to several other allegations against him, including one that he participated in the gang-rape of his 15-year-old girlfriend in 1985 when he was 23, and another that he threw a woman down the stairs in 1990 when she refused to have sex with him.

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