Game of Thrones actress Esmé Bianco has sued Marilyn Manson and his former manager, Tony Ciulla, alleging that the singer raped and sexually battered her. The complaint, filed Friday in the United States District Court for the Central District of California, also claims that Manson, whose real name is Brian Warner, Ciulla, and Ciulla’s management company violated human-trafficking laws by bringing her from London to Los Angeles under the pretense that she would be acting in a music video that never came out and a film that was never made.
The British actress, who played Ros on the hit HBO show, was one of more than a dozen women to speak out against the shock-rocker earlier this year. In February, she detailed the alleged abuse stemming from her relationship with Warner when they were a couple in 2011 in an interview with New York magazine. On Friday, she added fresh claims in the new legal filing. The complaint marks the first legal action against Warner since allegations of sexual and physical abuse surfaced this year.
“Mr. Warner used drugs, force, and threats of force to coerce sexual acts from Ms. Bianco on multiple occasions,” the lawsuit says. “Mr. Warner raped Ms. Bianco in or around May 2011.” It goes on to claim that Warner “committed sexual acts” with Bianco at times when she was unconscious or unable to consent, and lists the ways she claims he sexually battered her: “These acts include spanking, biting, cutting, and whipping Ms. Bianco’s buttocks, breasts, and genitals for Mr. Warner’s sexual gratification — all without the consent of Plaintiff.”
Bianco alleges that Warner violated California laws for sexual assault and sexual battery, further claiming that Warner and Ciulla violated the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act. Ciulla Management — the company founded by Ciulla that has managed the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Rob Zombie, Tove Lo, and others over the years — is also named as a defendant in the last claim. Ciulla represented Warner for more than 25 years before cutting ties with him in February following the assault allegations.
According to the complaint, Warner engaged in human trafficking when he “employed fraud” in enticing Bianco to the United States to appear in a music video for his song “I Want to Kill You Like They Do in the Movies” and a never-made horror film based on the works of Lewis Carroll called Phantasmagoria. “He promised work opportunities that never appeared while inserting himself in her visa process,” the complaint says. He continued his fraud, she alleges, when he “[directed] Ms. Bianco to draft paperwork to confirm that she would star in his upcoming film.” Furthermore, the filing adds, “By inserting himself in Ms. Bianco’s visa process, Mr. Warner was able to control Ms. Bianco by threatening to withdraw support if she displeased him.” At one point, she claims, he prevented her from escaping by locking her in a bedroom.
Bianco also alleged he forced her to perform “unpaid labor,” violating U.S. law regarding human trafficking. “This included serving and preparing food for Mr. Warner and his guests, cleaning his apartment, consulting on his album, providing uncredited backup vocals during the creative process for the album Born Villain, and being offered up to his guests and bandmates to ‘spank,’” the lawsuit alleges. “Mr. Warner implied that because he had brought Ms. Bianco to the United States and provided housing, she owed him labor and sexual intimacy.”
In a statement to Rolling Stone, Bianco noted her role in the Phoenix Act, the California law that expands rights for domestic-abuse survivors, championed by actress Evan Rachel Wood, who has also accused Warner of abuse. “As millions of survivors like myself are painfully aware, our legal system is far from perfect,” Bianco says. “This is why I co-created the Phoenix Act, a law which gives precious additional healing time to…