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Content warning: This story contains discussion and description of claims of sexual assault.
Marilyn Manson and Esmé Bianco have reached a settlement in the sexual assault lawsuit that the latter filed against Manson in 2021.
Bianco, who portrayed Ros in the television series Games Of Thrones, went public with her accusations against Manson in February 2021, claiming that the singer’s alleged abuse (occurring between 2009 and 2011) had made her “[feel] like a prisoner”. Months later, the actress formally filed a lawsuit against both Manson – real name Brian Warner – and his business, Marilyn Manson Records, Inc. The lawsuit alleged sexual assault, physical abuse and human trafficking.
That lawsuit has since been dropped, with both parties reaching a settlement out of court. The exact terms of the agreement are unknown, however in a statement provided to NME, Bianco’s lawyer, Jay Ellwanger, confirmed that Bianco has “agreed to resolve her claims against Brian Warner and Marilyn Manson Records, Inc. in order to move on with her life and career.”
Warner’s attorney, Howard King, echoed the lawsuit’s settlement in a separate statement to NME. The initial 2021 lawsuit claimed that Manson violated Californian laws on sexual assault and battery as well as human trafficking. Bianco alleged that because her visa was awarded on the premise of her appearing in Manson’s film projects, he “was able to control” her “by threatening to withdraw support if she displeased him”.
In interviews given prior to that, Bianco claimed she was kept without sleep or food on the set of the music Update for Manson’s song ‘I Want To Kill You Like They Do In The Movies’. She also alleged that Manson gave her cocaine, tied her up in cables and bit her without consent during sex. “I came and went at his pleasure,” Bianco told The Cut in February 2021. “Who I spoke to was completely controlled by him.”
Earlier this month, Bianco claimed that following her public accusations against him, Manson had purposely sabotaged her potential business opportunities. She alleged that Manson had contacted a member of Deftones to “confront him” over the band’s decision to use a photo of Bianco in artwork for their upcoming tour. That claim led to an amended complaint with the new accusation of tortious interference.
Bianco’s allegations were among many levelled against the musician in 2021. In February of that year, Evan Rachel Wood accused Manson of grooming, abusing and manipulating her as a teenager. The Westworld actor labelled Manson a “dangerous man” in social media posts airing the allegations, after which four additional women came forward with similar allegations. Last March, Manson sued Rachel Wood for defamation.
In the wake of Rachel Woods’ accusations, Wolf Alice’s Ellie Rowsell accused Manson of filming up her skirt with a GoPro without consent, Corey Feldman accused him of “decades of abuse and manipulation”, and Phoebe Bridgers claimed that the singer said had a “rape room” in his house when she visited as a teenager.
Both Manson and his attorney have long denied the allegations, with King saying the Bianco case was “provably false”. In response to Rachel Wood, Manson shared a statement claiming the accusations were “horrible distortions of reality” and that his “relationships have always been entirely consensual”. Months later, Manson dismissed Bianco’s allegations as “untrue, meritless” and part of a “coordinated attack” against him.
Earlier this month, a separate 2021 sexual assault lawsuit, filed against Manson by model and entertainer Ashley Morgan Smithline, was dismissed without prejudice. Last May, a civil lawsuit filed by Manson’s former personal assistant was also dropped.
For help, advice or more information regarding sexual harassment, assault and rape in the UK, visit the Rape Crisis charity website. In the US, visit RAINN.