Game of Thrones actor Esmé Bianco has settled her lawsuit against Marilyn Manson, which accused him of a wide variety of physical, mental, and sexual abuses, including rape.
Bianco and Manson settled the case after going through private mediation last week, according to a Tuesday court filing. The terms of the settlement were not publicly disclosed.
In a statement to BuzzFeed News, Bianco's attorney, Jay D. Ellwanger, said the actor agreed to settle the case "in order to move on with her life and career."
Bianco's federal lawsuit, which was filed in California in 2021, accused Manson of raping her in May 2011. In several instances, Manson also allegedly spanked, bit, whipped, and cut her butt, breasts, and genitals during sex without her consent, and "used drugs, force, and threats of force to coerce sexual acts" out of her "when she was unconscious or otherwise unable to consent."
The abuse began in February 2009, the lawsuit states, when Manson flew Bianco out to Los Angeles to film a music video, which was never published. When she arrived, she found "there was no crew present and that she was expected to stay at Mr. Warner’s home rather than in the hotel that had been previously booked."
The shoot — filmed by Manson himself on a handheld camera — allegedly went on for four days, during which Bianco was made to wear lingerie the entire time and given drugs and alcohol but no food. Over the course of the four days, Manson allegedly beat and electrocuted her, threatened to rape her, forced her to watch an "extremely violent movie that caused her to faint," and attempted to force her to perform sex acts with another woman on camera.
"Perhaps most horrifyingly, Mr. Warner locked Ms. Bianco in the bedroom, tied her to a prayer kneeler, and beat her with a whip that Mr. Warner said was utilized by the Nazis," the lawsuit states.
Out of fear of professional consequences — and the worry that Manson would treat her even more violently if she protested — Bianco did not fight back. A few months later, in May 2009, the two began a sexual relationship. Though consensual at the time, he allegedly bit, bruised, and publicly groped Bianco without consent. He also verbally degraded her in interviews and forced her to follow a "dress code," the lawsuit states. On one occasion, he's alleged to have attempted to bring an underage person back to their hotel.
In 2011, Bianco moved in with Manson for two and a half months, during which she said she endured "constant abuse." He allegedly did not allow her to have visitors or leave without his permission, and kept her "awake for days at a time and then would lock her out of the apartment overnight." He kept the apartment in "near-total darkness and insisted that the temperature remain at 63 degrees Fahrenheit," the lawsuit states, and he would regularly fly into rages, throwing objects and verbally abusing her.
One time, according to the lawsuit, Manson chased Bianco around with an ax, smashing holes in the wall. He also allegedly "cut Ms. Bianco with a Nazi knife during sex, without her consent, and photographed the cuts on her body," and nonconsensually posted the photos online.
Bianco escaped in June 2011 while Manson was sleeping; when he found out, he "threatened to have her visa revoked and to 'punish' her when he next saw her," according to the lawsuit.
As a result of her time with Manson, Bianco said she has post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression, and panic attacks. She believes her career has suffered ever since.
"It took Ms. Bianco years to understand the extent of Mr. Warner’s physical, sexual, psychological, and emotional abuse," the lawsuit states.
Bianco first spoke out about the trauma she endured in front of the California State Assembly in 2019 while advocating for the Phoenix Act, a since-passed state law that extended the statute of limitations for domestic abuse survivors. But she did not name her alleged abuser until February, when she told the Cut about how Manson "almost destroyed" her.
Shortly after the lawsuit was first filed, Bianco said in a statement that Manson has for far too long "been left unchecked, enabled by money, fame, and an industry that turned a blind eye."
"Despite the numerous brave women who have spoken out against Marilyn Manson, countless survivors remain silenced, and some of their voices will never be heard," Bianco said. "My hope is that by raising mine I will help to stop Brian Warner from shattering any more lives and empower other victims to seek their own small measure of justice."
Manson's attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Wednesday. But in February 2021, after Evan Rachel Wood first accused him of abuse, he called the allegations "distortions of reality" in a statement posted on Instagram.
“Obviously, my art and my life have long been magnets for controversy, but these recent claims about me are horrible distortions of reality,” he wrote. “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.”
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