A former assistant to Marilyn Manson, Ashley Walters, filed a lawsuit against the singer Tuesday accusing him of sexually abusing her and inviting his friends to sexually assault her a decade ago while she was under his employ.
As a boss, Manson was allegedly unstable, prone to outbursts and threats of rape and other forms of violence against Walters and other women around him.
Manson, whose legal name is Brian Warner, is already under investigation by the Los Angeles county sheriff’s department for alleged domestic violence incidents. He denies any wrongdoing.
With her suit, Walters joins more than a dozen other women who have made claims of abuse against Manson, according to a count from New York magazine, which was first to report the news. In February, “Westworld” star Evan Rachel Wood came forward to say Manson “horrifically abused” her for years while the pair dated in the late aughts. They met when she was just 18.
Walters was an aspiring photographer in March 2010 when Manson reached out to her over social media to compliment her work, she says in her complaint. In May of that year, Manson attempted to forcibly kiss her after pinning her to a bed after inviting her to his West Hollywood home to look at art books and discuss a possible collaboration. Walters said she had not realized the parking lot where she had left her car was locked from 2 a.m. to 7 a.m., so she could not immediately go home when she wanted to leave.
After the incident, she says Manson bombarded her with text messages about how talented he thought she was. Walters was encouraged by Manson’s continued support for her work, the complaint says, believing she was “on the brink of potentially forging a professional relationship” wherein Manson would “respect her professional boundaries moving forward.”
Walters then agreed to direct and perform in a video for Manson. During the shoot, he allegedly ordered her to remove her clothes except for her underwear and get into a bed with an actor who began “touching himself” and later “threw her against the wall and roughly shoved his tongue into her mouth.”
When Manson offered to double her salary by working as his assistant, the complaint says, she “knew it could be an incredible opportunity to become involved in the creative entertainment field ― one that would not be likely to come around again ― so she accepted the position.” She alleged that Manson proved to be an abusive employer who prevented her from seeing family members and erupted into violent fits of rage if, for example, the temperature of his house rose above 65 degrees.
Walters described the inside of Manson’s home to be “disorienting,” with black carpet, black furniture and so little natural light employees used “flashlights and LED headlamps to find their way around.” Walls were covered in “graffiti, blood and inappropriate phrases,” the complaint says. Manson would work through the night, fueled by drugs, according to Walters. Once he allegedly ordered her to work for 48 hours straight.
Manson allegedly told his friends they could grope and kiss Walters while she worked as his assistant, at one point pushing her onto the lap of an actor who then forcibly kept her on his lap while kissing her.
Her complaint also describes several sexual incidents between the singer and various young female fans ― at least one of whom was allegedly underage ― along with a number of domestic violence incidents between Manson and ex-girlfriends. According to the complaint, Manson ordered Walters and others such as Evan Rachel Wood to pose for photographs in Nazi apparel to be used as potential blackmail.
In hiring Walters, the complaint alleges, Manson “was looking to create an environment where [Walters] was subjected to personal and professional sexual exploitation, manipulation and psychological abuse.” The singer began accusing her of trying to sabotage his career by mid-2011, and the two parted ways in October of that year.
She began reconsidering her time with Manson after group of women including Wood and Bianco reached out to her in 2020 to share similar stories of alleged abuse. Her experiences were not only traumatic, Walters realized, but potentially against the law.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said in February that its detectives were looking into accusations made against Manson dating from 2009 to 2011, but did not identify the women who made the claims.