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Marilyn Manson and actor Esmé Bianco reach settlement in sexual assault lawsuit

Photo of a woman with curly hair  next to a photo of a man with black hair
“Game of Thrones” actor Esmé Bianco, left, has settled her sexual assault lawsuit against musician Marilyn Manson.
(Associated Press)
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Marilyn Manson has reached a settlement with actor Esmé Bianco, who filed a lawsuit in April 2021 accusing the musician — real name Brian Warner — of sexual assault, sexual battery and human trafficking.

“Ms. 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,” Bianco’s attorney, Jay D. Ellwanger, said in a statement to The Times on Tuesday.

For the record:

10:32 a.m. Jan. 25, 2023An earlier version of this report said Marilyn Manson’s former manager Tony Ciulla was a defendant in Esmé Bianco’s lawsuit. Ciulla was named by Bianco in the original filing, but weeks later was removed completely from an amended filing of the case.

Manson attorney Howard King also confirmed the outcome of the lawsuit.

Esmé Bianco’s case alleges Marilyn Manson sexually abused her and Tony Ciulla knew what was happening. The musician and his manager deny it all.

According to Rolling Stone, which broke the news of the settlement Tuesday, the terms of the agreement remain unknown.

In her lawsuit Bianco, 40, alleged the singer, 54, raped and abused her while they were dating in 2011. She also claimed that Manson violated human trafficking laws by bringing Bianco from London to Los Angeles for roles in Manson’s movie and music video projects that never materialized, all while Warner threatened and sexually abused the actress.

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In 2021, Manson dismissed the allegations as “horrible distortions of reality.”

Evan Rachel Wood says Marilyn Manson is a ‘dangerous man’ who abused her and others. Two models and an artist also spoke out, and his record label dropped him.

Bianco was among several women who came forward with serious allegations against Manson that year.

His former fiancée Evan Rachel Wood named Manson as her abuser in February 2021. She wrote in a since-deleted Instagram post the singer “started grooming me when I was a teenager and horrifically abused me for years.” He denied those claims too.

“Obviously, my art and my life have long been magnets for controversy, but these recent claims about me are horrible distortions of reality,” he said in an Instagram statement shortly after Wood’s claims. “My intimate relationships have always been entirely consensual with like-minded partners. Regardless of how — and why — others are now choosing to misrepresent the past, that is the truth.”

A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit against Marilyn Manson filed by model Ashley Morgan Smithline, but she is allowed to file a separate lawsuit later.

In light of the allegations, Manson was dropped by his record label and from the Creative Arts Agency.

Tuesday’s settlement came weeks after a judge dismissed model Ashley Morgan Smithline’s 2021 federal lawsuit against the singer. In the suit, filed in June 2021, Smithline alleged Manson sexually assaulted her multiple times in 2010.

Times data and graphics journalist Aida Ylanan and staff writer Jonah Valdez contributed to this report.


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