Marilyn Manson has settled the rape lawsuit brought against him by Game of Thrones actress Esmé Bianco. According to Deadline, both parties came to an agreement that was acceptable and the lawsuit has been closed. In a statement, Manson's lawyer Howard E. King said, "Ms. Bianco has agreed to resolve her claims against Brian Warner" — the shock rocker's real name — "and Marilyn Manson Records."
A lawyer for Bianco released a similar statement, stating his client wanted "to move on with her life and career." At this time, the details of the settlement have not been made public. In April 2021, Bianco's attorney filed the actress' lawsuit, claiming Manson made "fraudulent offers of movie and music video roles to convince Ms. Bianco to travel to Los Angeles, whereupon Mr. Warner then made threats of force and performed violent sexual acts on Ms. Bianco to which she did not consent." The lawsuit asserted, "Mr. Warner raped Ms. Bianco in or around May 2011."
While Deadline did not clarify, it was previously reported that attorney Jay Ellwanger had been handling Bianco's lawsuit. In early January, Ellwanger was said to have been fired by another client who'd filed a sexual assault and human trafficking lawsuit against Manson that was ultimately dismissed. Consequence reports that Ashley Morgan Smithline's case was thrown out by California district judge Fernando L. Aenlle-Rocha after the model's attorney exited her case and she never acquired a new council or agreed to represent herself. Smithline had also alleged unlawful imprisonment against Manson.
"We thank and commend Ashley Smithline for dismissing her claims against Brian Warner without seeking or receiving anything in return," King wrote in a statement. "Ms. Smithline has refused to be manipulated by others who are trying to pursue their own agendas against Mr. Warner. We wish her well and will continue to work to assure that a significant price will be paid by those who have tried to abuse our legal system." Smithline's accusations first emerged in May 2021.
In a statement to Consequence, a rep for Manson wrote that the discovery of some unusual Instagram messages between Smithline and Ellwanger led Manson's legal team to allege that the model "was manipulated into fabricating lies" about their client. Per court documents, the communications implied that Ellwanger had lied about Smithline's whereabouts in order to postpone their deposition, but Smithline was unaware of his actions. Additionally, the messages indicated that Ellwanger continued to have contact with Manson's lawyers after Smithline fired him in April 2022.
If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, you can contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) or go to rainn.org