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Marilyn Manson Attempts Comeback Tour Amid Sexual Assault Allegations

Marilyn Manson has announced his first run of tour dates since several women made allegations of sexual abuse against him in the past few years. The singer, whose real name is Brian Warner, will support the metal group Five Finger Death Punch in amphitheaters and arenas in August and September.

Warner did not comment on the tour other than social media posts saying it was happening. He has not yet announced a lineup for his supporting band. (Neither Warner’s lawyer nor a rep for Five Finger Death Punch immediately returned a request for comment.)

The announcement comes three years after actress Evan Rachel Wood published an Instagram post in February 2021 alleging Warner had sexually abused her. More than a dozen women came forward with allegations against Warner, accusing him of psychological and sexual abuse.

“Given all the litigation and investigations he has been the subject of, he probably needs the money,” James Vagnini, a lawyer who represents accuser Ashley Walters, tells Rolling Stone. Jay Ellwanger, the attorney who repped Esme Bianco and other accusers, said his clients declined to comment.

The music industry reacted swiftly to the original accusations. Warner’s longtime manager, Tony Ciulla, dropped him as a client, as did Warner’s record label, Loma Vista, and his booking agency, CAA. (It’s unclear who booked the tour dates with Five Finger Death Punch.) And the Los Angeles County Sherrif’s Department launched a criminal investigation; it has delivered its findings to the district attorney, who has not yet announced whether or not criminal charges will be forthcoming.

In 2021, several of Warner’s accusers spoke with Rolling Stone for an investigation into the allegations. “Before I was even in a relationship with him, he talked about raping me,” Esmé Bianco, Warner’s onetime girlfriend and an actress on Game of Thrones, claimed. “[I thought], ‘I guess that’s just how he rolls and everyone is cool with it, so who am I to not laugh along?’” She claimed in her lawsuit against Warner that he “beat her with a whip that Mr. Warner said was utilized by the Nazis.” (Warner later settled the lawsuit and another that a Jane Doe filed against him.)

Ashley Walters, a former assistant of Warner’s, alleged he would “offer her up” to his friends, asking her to “please his friends in whatever way they desired.”

In court filings, Walters alleged Warner forced her hand into his underwear, whipped her, threw dishes at her, pushed her into a wall, broke down doors to get to her, charged at her, and forced her to stay awake for 48 hours straight, one time requiring her to stand on a chair for 12 hours.

Walters’ lawsuit, which has been off and on since the initial filing, could be back in play. In a new ruling Thursday, a Los Angeles judge officially restarted the clock on the revived lawsuit. The sexual assault case was previously dismissed by a different judge last year, but Walters appealed the decision and won. Warner now has until April 10 to file an answer.

“We are happy the court acted this quickly in getting things back on track and underway,” Vagnini tells Rolling Stone. “We look forward to starting discovery and hearing from Mr. Warner himself as to the allegations set forth by our client and others.”

In 2023, an accuser who filed a lawsuit as a Jane Doe alleged Warner groomed her and sexually assaulted her multiple times in the 1990s when she was underage.

Through his lawyer, Warner has issued statements vehemently denying “any and all claims of sexual assault or abuse of anyone.”

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Wood was the subject of an HBO documentary about her allegations against Warner, Phoenix Rising, in 2022. In the film, she alleged Warner “essentially raped” her on camera when she was acting in his “Heart-Shaped Glasses” video and that he raped her while she was asleep. She also claimed he was physically violent to her and that he surveilled her.

Around the time the documentary aired, Warner sued Wood for defamation, distress, and allegedly impersonating the FBI. The lawsuit is still pending, though Warner reportedly owes Wood and co-defendant Illma Gore nearly half a million dollars in lawyers’ fees after making failed claims.

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