Marilyn Manson’s former assistant, Ashley Walters, is suing him with allegations of sexual assault, battery and harassment. She filed the claim on May 18 in the Superior Court of Los Angeles County and commented on the details of her allegations to The Cut.
Walters, who is currently 37 years old, met Manson when she was 26 and he was 41. She says the singer contacted her via MySpace to compliment her photography work, kept in touch over the phone and eventually offered her a collaboration opportunity.
The first time that they met up in person was reportedly for a meeting to discuss the possibilities of what their collaborations could entail. When she tried to leave at 2 a.m., she says she was told that the parking lot her car was in would be closed until 7 a.m., and alleges that Manson invited her to do a photo shoot then. She alleges that Manson asked her to take her shirt off at one point, pushed her onto his bed and allegedly attempted to kiss her. According to the legal complaint, at that point, Manson allegedly “moved behind Walters and bit her ear while grabbing her hand and placing it in his underwear.” She says she had been able to get away and didn’t seriously consider it as assault at that time, The Cut reports.
Walters says they did a few more photo and video shoots together over the next few months before Manson offered her an assistant position at twice the salary she had been making at the production company she was working at. According to the complaint, “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.”
When she began working for Manson full-time, the complaint indicates that it was nearly literally full-time at some points. She alleges that she was expected to work whenever Manson needed her during his irregular “nocturnal schedule,” and alleged that she had to work for 48 hours straight when Manson was on a coke binge. Walters also claimed that she frequently lived in fear of his anger, and gave examples of times that Manson allegedly threw dishes at her or allegedly pushed her against a wall.
She told The Cut, “You just put your head down and you’re in survival mode. At the time I felt isolated, like I couldn’t go anywhere.”
The lawsuit states that there was an event in September 2020 when Manson allegedly “pushed Walters onto the lap of an actor and bragged that he could ‘have her,’” at an awards show. The complaint continues, “The actor proceeded to kiss Walters and keep her on his lap.” According to the complaint, Manson “commonly offered Walters up to his influential industry friends and associates.”
According to The Cut, an anonymous member of Manson’s ‘inner circle’ at that time claimed that Manson “offered up Ashley more than a few times.” Walters told The Cut, “It made me feel like I was his property. It just made me feel like a piece of meat.”
After that, the complaint says that Manson accused Walter of attempting to sabotage his career around summer 2011. According to the lawsuit, Manson reportedly told entertainment business professionals that she wasn’t good at her job and allegedly pressured her into wearing Nazi paraphernalia during a photo shoot so he could blackmail her if they spoke out against him. The first woman to come forward with allegations against Manson, actress Evan Rachel Wood, had accused Manson of using this tactic on her as well.
Since Walters was fired soon afterwards, she told The Cut that she believed it would be better to “have him as a friend as opposed to an enemy.” However, testimonies by Evan Rachel Wood, Esmé Bianco, Ashley Morgan Smithline and the other women who came forward encouraged her to tell her side of the story. “A lot of the isolation and a lot of the psychological abuse was very similar to what I experienced,” she states. “Once I realized how many people had been affected, I couldn’t sit by and let this happen to anyone else. My end goal is just to hold him accountable.”
Photo credit: Owen Ela