Marilyn Manson, the controversial musician, has come to a settlement with a woman who had filed a rape lawsuit against him just one week before the trial was scheduled to begin.
Adam Wolf, the attorney representing the woman, identified only as "Jane Doe," filed the notice of settlement in a Los Angeles court on September 27. Within the next 45 days, the lawyer intends to request the dismissal of the case.
Manson's attorney, Howard King, expressed Manson's satisfaction with the resolution, stating, "Brian is pleased that, just as previous lawsuits were abandoned without payment or settled for pennies on the dollar, this plaintiff has now agreed to drop her suit in exchange for an insurance payment representing a fraction of her demands and far less than the cost to Brian of proceeding to trial."
In response to the news, Jane Doe shared her perspective with Rolling Stone. She stated, "I was fully prepared for trial and never in a million years thought I would ever settle, but over the past two-and-a-half years I have silently endured threats, bullying, harassment and various forms of intimidation that have intensified over the past few weeks." She revealed that Manson had attended her deposition and that she had been "forced to answer seven hours of aggressive questioning with him staring at me from across the table." She continued, "I’ve been told that this almost never happens, as it’s cruel, and that a main reason for it would be to intimidate and inflict emotional distress on a victim."
"I never cared about money and only ever wanted justice, but if we had gone to trial, I could have lost my right to anonymity and been victim-blamed on a large and public scale," she added. "Most importantly I could have risked losing the freedom to tell my story, and that is worth more than anything in the world."
In June 2021, Jane Doe initially filed a lawsuit against Manson (whose real name is Brian Warner) accusing him of raping and torturing her in 2011. She asserted that she had repressed memories of the alleged assault for a decade, only recovering them in February 2021 when other women came forward with similar accusations against Manson.
According to her complaint, Manson had threatened to harm her following the alleged assault, stating that he would "bash her head in." She further alleged that he claimed he would "get away with it" due to his status as a "celebrity with contacts in the police force." Jane Doe also claimed that Manson maintained nearly constant contact with her and restricted her access to food, asserting that he told her "she needed to lose weight because her weight embarrassed him."
In September 2021, the lawsuit was initially dismissed by Judge Gregory Keosian, who cited the accuser's claims of repressed memories as insufficient to extend the two-year statute of limitations. While acknowledging that repressed memories are common among sexual assault victims, the judge ruled that additional evidence was required to invoke California's "delayed-discovery" rule.
This rule effectively postpones the statute of limitations if the plaintiff can demonstrate that they first became aware of the injury within two years of filing their complaint, regardless of when the incident itself occurred. Jane Doe was given 20 days to amend and refile her complaint, which she did, providing more information about her repressed memories.
Over the past two years, Manson has faced sexual assault lawsuits from several women, including Game of Thrones actress and former girlfriend Esme Bianco, former personal assistant Ashley Walters, and ex-girlfriend Ashley Morgan Smithline. The lawsuits filed by Walters and Smithline were subsequently dismissed, while Manson reached a settlement with Bianco in January. Smithline later recanted her accusations, alleging that Manson's former girlfriend, Evan Rachel Wood, who initially accused Manson of sexual abuse in February 2021, had pressured her to make the claim. Wood denied these allegations.
Smithline's recantation coincided with a defamation lawsuit filed by Manson against Wood in March 2022, which accused Wood of orchestrating an "organized attack" against him. A judge dismissed a substantial portion of that lawsuit in May of the same year.
Reports and discussions related to sexual assault allegations can be distressing for survivors of sexual assault. If you or someone you know requires support, please consider reaching out to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN), which offers free, confidential support to sexual assault survivors. You can contact RAINN's National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800.656.HOPE or visit their website for additional information and resources.