Victory for Survivors in Marilyn Manson Appeal
In a ruling that survivors of sexual assault and harassment are calling “a great victory,” a former assistant for disgraced rocker Marilyn Manson, whose real name is Brian Warner, can move forward with a lawsuit that says Manson brutally abused her in 2011.
The lawsuit, filed by Manson’s former assistant Ashley Walters, says that during a “drug-fueled rage,” Manson sexually assaulted her, whipped her, and made her stay awake for 48 hours. However, because the suit was filed in 2021, a trial judge threw the case out, saying that Walters did not meet the two-year deadline for filing such claims.
Walters appealed the decision, saying that due to extreme trauma, she repressed the memory of the assault. The “discovery rule,” her lawyers argued, which delays the deadline for filing civil lawsuits in cases of injury, abuse, and trauma, applies in her case. The judges in California’s Second Appellate District agreed and are allowing the case to go forward.
According to Rolling Stone:
[Walters] argued that while the alleged abuse took place during a “horrific” year of employment that ended in 2011, the typical two-year statute of limitations didn’t apply because she had suppressed her memories until 2020. She said the “delayed discovery” rule, which postpones the starting clock for statutes of limitations in cases where victims bury painful memories, had extended her window to file. She further alleged Warner used threatening behavior to ensure her silence.
In the ruling, the judges said, according to Rolling Stone:
“Walter’s allegations of delayed discovery were sufficient to withstand demurrer, and we reverse,” the judges wrote in their ruling. They noted that while Warner’s defense team argued her allegations were “too memorable and happened too many times for her to have remembered none of it,” the court wasn’t supposed to concern itself with her ability to prove her claims at this stage of her case, only that she asserted them properly.
More than a dozen women have claimed that Manson sexually assaulted and harassed them. In January 2023, we filed a lawsuit against Manson alleging the sexual assault and rape of Jane Doe, starting when she was only 16 years old and continuing for years, into adulthood.
The ruling, as well as the judge’s opinion on the relevance and importance of repressed memories, will open the doors for survivors statewide to come forward in the courts and demand justice and accountability for sexual assault, abuse, and harassment.