British actor Esmé Bianco, best known for her role as Ros in Game of Thrones, filed a lawsuit against Marilyn Manson on Friday, accusing him of rape and a wide range of abusive acts.
According to the lawsuit, which was filed in a federal court in California, Manson, whose legal name is Brian Warner, raped Bianco in May 2011. In several instances, he allegedly “used drugs, force, and threats of force to coerce sexual acts” out of Bianco, at times “when she was unconscious or otherwise unable to consent,” the lawsuit states. Bianco also said he spanked, bit, whipped, and cut her butt, breasts, and genitals during sex without her consent.
Manson is also being sued for violating the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, with Bianco claiming he used fraud to get her to come to the US by promising her work opportunities that he knew would never come to fruition. “By inserting himself in Ms. Bianco’s visa process, Mr. Warner was able to control Ms. Bianco by threatening to withdraw support if she displeased him,” the lawsuit states.
According to the lawsuit, the abuse began in February 2009, when Manson flew Bianco out to Los Angeles to film a music video that was never published. Upon her arrival, 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.”
During the four-day shoot, which Manson filmed himself on a handheld flip camera, Bianco was allegedly made to wear lingerie the entire time, was deprived of sleep, and given drugs and alcohol, but no food. Throughout the shoot, Bianco also said Warner 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 while 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.
Bianco said she did not fight back against the treatment out of fear of the professional consequences and that he would treat her even more violently.
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 her without consent. He also is accused of forcing her to follow a “dress code” and verbally degrading her in interviews. In one instance, he’s alleged to have tried 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 leave the apartment without permission or have visitors, and kept her “awake for days at a time and then would lock her out of the apartment overnight,” the lawsuit states. He also kept the apartment in “near-total darkness and insisted that the temperature remain at 63 degrees Fahrenheit,” and would regularly become enraged, throw objects, and verbally abuse her, according to the lawsuit.
“Mr. Warner would berate Ms. Bianco if he did not like her outfit, if she touched the thermostat, if she attempted to open the curtains in the apartment, if she expressed discomfort with the violent and sexually graphic films Mr. Warner played throughout the apartment, and if she failed to find objects he hid around the apartment,” the lawsuit states.
In one incident, Warner allegedly chased Bianco with an axe and smashed holes in the wall. And in another, he allegedly “cut Ms. Bianco with a Nazi knife during sex, without her consent, and photographed the cuts on her body,” then non-consensually posted the photos online.
Bianco escaped in June 2011 while Manson was sleeping, and when he found out, he “threatened to have her visa revoked and to ‘punish’ her when he next saw her,” according to the lawsuit.
To this day, Bianco has post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression, and panic attacks, and she believes her career has suffered as a result.
“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 victims. But she did not name her alleged abuser until February, when she told The Cut how Manson “almost destroyed” her.
In a statement she shared on social media Friday, Bianco said 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 did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the lawsuit. But in February, after 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.”