Marilyn Manson's Former Assistant Sues Him for 'Sexual Exploitation,' Says She Was 'Dehumanized'

"It made me feel like I was his property,” she told The Cut. “It just made me feel like a piece of meat." A member of Manson's team denied the claims

Ashley Walters and Marilyn Manson
Photo: Ashley Walters/ instagram; Richard Shotwell/INvision/AP/Shutterstock

A former assistant of Marilyn Manson is now suing the controversial singer.

Ashley Walters, who first came forward in February alongside several women who accused him of sexual abuse, filed a lawsuit against Manson, 52, on Tuesday as she alleged sexual exploitation, manipulation, grooming and psychological abuse while she was his assistant over the course of a year.

In her complaint, Walters — who was an aspiring photographer when she met Manson (born Brian Hugh Warner) — accused the singer of sexually abusing and battering her multiple times, forcing her to travel with drugs and "offering her up" to industry friends. She also stated that he boasted about raping women and showed her a video of himself abusing an underage girl.

"He was looking to create an environment where Plaintiff was subjected to personal and professional sexual exploitation, manipulation and psychological abuse," the complaint, obtained by PEOPLE, alleged. In February, Manson called numerous allegations of sexual abuse "horrible distortions of reality" and described his relationships as "entirely consensual with like-minded partners.

"It made me feel like I was his property. It just made me feel like a piece of meat," Walters, 37, told New York Magazine's The Cut. "You just put your head down and you're in survival mode. At the time I felt isolated like I couldn't go anywhere."

In a statement to PEOPLE, a member of Manson's team "vehemently denied accusations of assault."

Marilyn Manson
Marilyn Manson. Frazer Harrison/Getty

Speaking to PEOPLE earlier this year, Walters recalled a moment with Ashley Morgan Smithline, who opened up about the alleged abuse she faced with Manson on the cover of PEOPLE, about the day the two were "berated" while preparing Thanksgiving dinner for him and his guests in 2010.

"Both of us were trying to cook dinner for Thanksgiving and he had brought a couple people over, but he was just berating both of us in front of his guests and dehumanizing us," Walters told PEOPLE. "It was just a bad night. And I remember crying on the phone to my family that night. I just remember being verbally attacked a lot that night."

"Some days were like the best night of your life, where you got to meet these cool people and travel and do cool stuff, but there would be the worst night of your life the next day," she adds. "It was a rollercoaster ride."

In a new statement, Walters admitted that it has taken her years to "fully grasp" what she allegedly endured at his hands.

"Brian groomed me until I trusted him. I think when you've endured repeated abuse and harassment, especially from someone you trusted, it can take longer to process and understand what truly happened," she said in a new statement to PEOPLE. "It has taken me years to fully grasp the impact this environment had on me and the recent exposure of his behavior toward other women to identify these moments for what they were."

In her complaint, Walters describes an instance when Manson allegedly asked her to remove her shirt for a set of photos, before he "pushed onto his bed, pinned down her arms" and kissed her without his consent.

"Walters left Defendant's residence after their first meeting feeling confusion and fear, but she also felt excitement about their creative connection and similar artistic interests," the complaint read. "She felt lucky that Defendant recognized her talent and looked forward to working with him creatively. She unconsciously made the decision to focus on their shared interests and ignore the traumatizing experience of being pinned to his bed."

In another instance, Walters alleged that Manson told her that he "loved when girls looked like they had just been raped" and "ordered her to remove all of her clothing except her underwear and Nazi jacket" for a video shoot, which he deemed "professional."

"As Walters moved slightly on the bed, she realized that the actor had unzipped his pants and was touching his penis under the comforter," the complaint read. "It became clear to Walters that Defendant either planned or was aware that the actor was touching himself because he told Walters to 'help' the actor."

RELATED VIDEO: People Cover Story: Ashley Morgan Smithline

Soon after, she became Manson's assistant and alleges she was forced to take on "impossible tasks" of rearranging his closet, bedroom and furniture he damaged following "fits of rage." She also described being "offered up" to several friends on multiple occasions, at least two of whom groped her and engaged in "inappropriate behavior" while Manson encouraged it. Walters also accused Manson of forcing her to carry narcotics in her luggage while traveling in Europe.

"Defendant routinely encouraged, promoted, and expected Walters to 'please' his friends in whatever way they desired. Despite his behavior, she continued to attend industry events and gatherings because it was expected as a part of her job," the complaint read. "Defendant heavily relied on Walters' presence and rarely attended any events without her. Additionally, she believed it would garner favor from Defendant and feared the loss of opportunities in an industry she worked hard to be a part of."

Walters also accused Manson of showing her a video of him abusing a "young female fan," whipping her and pulling a gun to her head. He also ordered her and his employees to say damaging and offensive things on camera to use as blackmail, she alleged. Manson would also boast of getting away with raping women, according to the complaint.

Walters described sneaking food and drinks to Manson's ex-girlfriends Evan Rachel Wood and Esmé Bianco — both of whom have accused him of sexual abuse — when they were "afraid to leave the room." The complaint also describes Walters picking up Bianco after the two broke up and being "fearful" of Manson being abusive toward Bianco again.

Marilyn Manson
Kurt Krieger/Corbis via Getty

Walters was arrested for a DUI at the time after being in a car accident. When Manson found out that Bianco was with her, he "abruptly terminated her employment" before re-hiring her and continuing to "berate" her, Walters alleged.

"Defendant accused Walters of trying to sabotage his career, and as a result attempted to ruin her reputation by beginning a smear campaign. He physically and verbally threatened her," according to the compaint.

In the complaint, Walters also talks about meeting the other women who have accused Manson of sexual, physical and psychological abuse, including Ashley Morgan Smithline, who opened up to PEOPLE about "surviving a monster."

"The abuse and treatment described by women of the support group resonated deeply with Walters. As his Personal Assistant, Walters suffered similar instances of manipulation and psychological abuse. Defendant Warner's harassing, degrading, offensive, and discriminatory behavior created an abusive and harmful environment. Walters was frequently and routinely berated in front of others," the complaint read.

RELATED VIDEO: Evan Rachel Wood Alleges Ex Marilyn Manson 'Horrifically Abused' and 'Manipulated' Her

In a statement from Walters' legal team to PEOPLE, the lawyers at Valli Kane & Vagnini commended the photographer for her "brave decision to come forward."

"She seeks accountability from her abuser to not only ensure it does not continue to happen to other women, but also to provide strength and courage to other survivors who have suffered trauma at the hands of those who regularly abuse their power and influence," the statement read. "In recent years, thanks to people like Ashley and other survivors of Marilyn Manson, legislators and courts have begun recognizing the strength and time it takes survivors to come forward. We are grateful to Ashley and other survivors who are fighting to be heard after the abuse they endured."

Manson is currently being investigated by the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department for domestic violence.

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