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Axl Rose files to dismiss sexual assault lawsuit against him

Axl Rose has filed a motion to dismiss the sexual assault lawsuit that was made against him in late 2023.

In November, a lawsuit was filed in New York’s Supreme Court against the Guns N’ Roses frontman, alleging that he sexually assaulted the model Sheila Kennedy in 1989.

In the lawsuit, Kennedy claimed that she was 26 and he was 27 when they first met at a nightclub in New York. Upon meeting, Rose is said to have invited Kennedy to his hotel room.

At first, there was an initial consensual kiss, where Rose is alleged to have “pushed Kennedy against the wall”. Furthermore, the lawsuit states that Kennedy “was open to sleeping with him if things progressed.” However, she maintains that she did not consent to alleged further violent encounters later that evening.

The lawsuit claims that Rose then “knocked her to the floor and “grabbed her by the hair and dragged her across the suite back to his bedroom.” This caused “her knees to bleed from scraping on the rug.”

Axl Rose performs live with Guns N’ Roses in 2022. Credit: Amy Sussman/Getty Images for Stagecoach.

Rose went on to allegedly throw her on the bed, tying up her hands behind her back with pantyhose and then forcibly penetrating her. The lawsuit claimed Rose was in “a sexual, volatile rage”.

“He treated her like property used solely for his sexual pleasure,” the suit went on to allege. “Kennedy did not consent and felt overpowered.”

Now, Rose’s legal team have submitted court documents in an effort to get the suit thrown out.

“Kennedy cannot and will not succeed in this unscrupulous attempt at a financial windfall. This lawsuit will lay bare the falsity of these vexatious and meritless allegations,” they said (via People).

Rose’s lawyers say that Kennedy described the alleged incident as “consensual sex” in her 2016 memoir No One’s Pet, while claiming that she said she “did not consider it rape, it was consensual” in the 2021 documentary Look Away.

They also claim that Kennedy realised she “could profit from claiming that the incident had not in fact been consensual”, due to New York’s Adult Survivors Act, a one-year ruling that extended the statute of limitations for sexual assault allegations.

The November suit claimed that Kennedy suffered from PTSD-like symptoms, along with anxiety and depression. Furthermore, Kennedy claims her career was compromised by the assault. Kennedy is seeking unspecified damages from the court for assault, battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress and gender-motivated violence.

Rose’s lawyer Alan S. Gutman of Gutman Law later issued a statement to NME after the original suit denying the allegations, describing them as “fictional claims”.

His statement added: “Simply put, this incident never happened. Notably, these fictional claims were filed the day before the New York State filing deadline expires. Though he doesn’t deny the possibility of a fan photo taken in passing, Mr. Rose has no recollection of ever meeting or speaking to the Plaintiff, and has never heard about these fictional allegations prior to today. Mr. Rose is confident this case will be resolved in his favour.”

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