- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 29, 2021

Marilyn Manson has asked a federal judge to dismiss claims of sexual assault brought by “Game of Thrones” actress Esme Bianco in one of several lawsuits he currently faces.

Lawyers for the musician born Brian Hugh Warner filed a motion to dismiss Wednesday, which rejects “each and every claim” contained in the sexual assault and battery lawsuit brought by Ms. Bianco.

“Plaintiff’s claims are untrue, meritless and a key component of a coordinated attack by multiple plaintiffs, who are cynically and dishonestly seeking to monetize and exploit the #MeToo movement,” lawyer Howard E. King wrote for the singer’s legal team.

“Plaintiff and her co-conspirators are desperately trying to conflate the imagery and artistry of Warner’s ‘shock rock’ stage persona, ‘Marilyn Manson,’ with fabricated accounts of abuse,” Mr. King wrote.

Lawyers for Ms. Bianco, 39, filed the lawsuit in March against Mr. Warner, 59, in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California. The musician’s manager is also a defendant.

The lawsuit claims the singer physically, sexually, psychologically and emotionally abused Ms. Bianco dating back to 2009, including while they were in a consensual sexual relationship beginning in 2011.

“Mr. Warner used drugs, force, and threats of force to coerce sexual acts from Ms. Bianco on multiple occasions. Mr. Warner raped Ms. Bianco in or around May 2011,” the lawsuit alleges.

“Ms. Bianco was well aware of the violence Mr. Warner could dole out if she fought back, having been on the receiving end of his temper many times,” her lawyers wrote.

Mr. Warner currently faces similar lawsuits from three other women, including model Ashley Morgan Smithline, his former assistant Ashley Walters, and a “Jane Doe” plaintiff. He denies their allegations as well.

The frontman and founder of an industrial rock band, also dubbed Marilyn Manson, Mr. Warner first rose to fame in the 1990s with radio and MTV hits including “The Beautiful People” and “The Dope Show.”

Although he has faced sexual-misconduct accusations throughout his career, an increasing number of Mr. Warner‘s past sexual partners have spoken publicly in recent years and/or started to sue.

Indeed, Mr. King wrote in the motion to dismiss this week that Ms. Bianco‘s claims should be tossed because more than seven years has passed since the alleged conduct occurred.

“Plaintiff has attempted to improperly manipulate the legal system by filing these clearly time-barred claims in hope of spreading lies about Warner under the protections of the litigation privilege,” he wrote.

The case is pending in the Los Angeles court before U.S. District Judge Fernando L. Aenlle-Rocha, a Trump appointee.

• Andrew Blake can be reached at ablake@washingtontimes.com.

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