Former Marilyn Manson assistant Ashley Walters was allegedly threatened with “retaliatory legal action” if she took part in Evan Rachel Wood’s upcoming documentary Phoenix Rising.
Phoenix Rising, which premieres March 15 and 16 on HBO, details the alleged abuse Wood suffered while with Manson.
When it was announced back in January, Manson’s legal team filed a lawsuit against Wood, suing her for defamation, emotional distress, and “impersonation over the internet.”
However, according to an amended lawsuit filed Friday (March 11) by Walters’ lawyers, she was also threatened with similar legal proceedings if she took part.
In May 2021, Walters sued the singer for sexual assault, battery, and harassment. When contacted by NME for comment on Walters’ lawsuit, a member of Manson’s team “vehemently denied any accusations of assault”.
Following the filing, Manson’s lawyers tried to have the case thrown out on the basis of statute of limitations, but the judge overseeing the case declined to rule on that motion until a later date.
In the amended lawsuit (seen by Rolling Stone), Ashley Walters also said that she repressed the memories of much of the sexual abuse and battery she claimed she endured during her time with Manson, only confronting what occurred following therapy sessions in the autumn of 2020.
“While (Walters) could not recall many of the specific acts of intimidation, threats and coercion until Fall of 2020 or later, the compilation of numerous threatening and violent events instilled a constant state of fear of retribution and retaliation,” Walters’ lawyers wrote in the amended lawsuit, explaining why she hadn’t come forward before.
“This also contributed to the fact that (Walters) was unable to access many of the memories of her abuse until the effects of these threats and coercion subsided due to the public exposure of (Manson’s) abuse and the loss of his power in the industry when even his record labels and management dropped their representation of (Manson).”
Walters’ lawyers continued: “Defendants should not benefit from [Manson’s] physically, emotionally and psychologically debilitating and threatening behaviour by being permitted to use the statute of limitations as a shield.”
Manson is currently facing lawsuits from Evan Rachel Wood, Ashley Morgan Smithline, Esmé Bianco and Walters, with Manson claiming the assault allegations are a “co-ordinated attack” against him
Following the accusations, Manson was dropped by his record label Loma Vista as well as by his long-term manager Tony Ciulla. He has also been axed from his TV projects and will no longer appear in American Gods or the Creepshow anthology.