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A California federal judge ruled this week that a lawsuit filed by “Game of Thrones” actress Esmé Bianco against Marilyn Manson alleging extreme emotional, psychological and sexual abuse, could move forward in court.
Attorneys for Manson, whose legal name is Brian Warner, attempted to dismiss the lawsuit on the grounds that the statute of limitations in the case had expired. a judge ruled against Manson on Thursday and ordered him to file a formal answer to each of the claims made in the lawsuit within 14 days, according to a news release.
“My hope is that this ruling empowers other survivors to pursue justice for themselves while signaling to abusers that they cannot bully victims into silence,” Bianco said in a statement obtained by Oxygen.com.
Bianco’s attorney, Jay Ellwanger, called the judge’s decision a major step forward in achieving justice for his client.
“Today’s ruling, which allows Ms. Bianco’s case to move forward in its entirety, underscores that threats and coercion cannot be used by defendants both as a shield and a sword," he said.
In his decision, which was obtained by Oxygen.com, U.S. District Court Judge Fernando L. Aenlle-Rocha cited Bianco’s claims that Manson had “controlled essentially every aspect of her life for months” and “threatened to punish’” her after she escaped the relationship.
“A reasonable jury could find that the effects of Warner’s alleged unconscionable acts, including the perceived threat to [the] plaintiff’s safety, immigration status, and career, persisted years after her last contact with Warner,” he wrote in his decision.
In a lawsuit originally filed against the musician in April, Bianco accused Manson of physically, sexually, psychologically and emotionally abusing her for years after she first flew to meet him in Los Angeles in 2009.
Bianco believed she was there to film a music video, but says she realized shortly after she arrived that she was expected to stay at the goth rocker's home, where she said she was subjected to sleep deprivation while being provided with drugs and alcohol but no food, the suit claims.
“One day, Warner locked [Bianco] in a bedroom, tied her to a prayer kneeler, beat her with a whip that he said was utilized by Nazis, and electrocuted her,” her legal team alleged in court documents.
After this period in Los Angeles, Bianco returned to her London home but began a “consensual sexual relationship” with him later that year, the documents state. However, her attorneys have said the relationship was rife with abuse, pointing to instances where they said she was “bruised, bit and publicly groped” without her consent.
In April 2011, Bianco moved to the United States after Warner helped her secure a visa. While living with him at his apartment, her attorneys have alleged that he controlled nearly every move she made —forbidding her to have visitors and often forcing her to stay awake for days at a time.
Manson also allegedly committed sexual acts against Bianco while she was either unconscious or otherwise unable to consent; on one occasion he allegedly chased her around the apartment with an axe, according to the court documents.
“Another time, he cut [Bianco] with a Nazi knife during sex without her consent, photographed the cuts on her body, and then posted the photos online without her consent,” court documents alleged.
The suit alleges she “escaped” his apartment in 2011 while he was sleeping, but her attorneys said Manson threatened to revoke her visa and told her she would be “punished” the next time he saw her.
Bianco, a model and neo-burlesque performer known for her recurring role as Winterfell sex worker Ros in the first three seasons of the smash hit HBO series "Game of Thrones," says she saw the rocker a final time in 2013 after one of his shows.
According to the court documents, the actress had long-lasting effects from the abuse and suffers from complex post-traumatic stress disorder, along with anxiety, depression, and panic attacks. Her team is asking the court that Manson pay damages.
Manson’s attorney, Howard E. King, has previously denied the claims made in the lawsuit against the rocker, according to Deadline.
“These claims are provably false,” he said. “To be clear, this suit was only filed after my client refused to be shaken down by Ms. Bianco and her lawyer and give in to their outrageous financial demands based on conduct that simply never occurred. We will vigorously contest these allegations in court and are confident that we will prevail.”
Manson is also under investigation by the Los Angeles Sheriff’s department after approximately half a dozen women have come forward to accuse the performer of domestic abuse.
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