Detectives with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department raided the West Hollywood home of Marilyn Manson on Monday, months after launching an investigation into sexual assault allegations against the 52-year-old singer. Manson, whose real name is Brian Hugh Warner, was not home as Special Victims Unit detectives forced their way inside the apartment before seizing media storage units including hard drives, TMZ reports. The department had launched an investigation in response to sexual assault and battery allegations by at least 16 women, including Westworld actor Evan Rachel Wood and Game of Thrones actor Esme Bianco, back in February.
Bianco, model Ashley Morgan Smithline, and Manson's former assistant Ashley Walters have filed three ongoing civil suits against the singer, per CBS Los Angeles. A fourth suit, filed by an anonymous ex-girlfriend, was dismissed in court in September because the statute of limitations had expired, People reports. Bianco claimed Manson invited her to film a music video in 2011 but "assaulted her without consent during the shoot." She said there were other points in their relationship when Manson raped her, slashed her with a knife, chased her with an ax, and controlled when she could sleep and eat. Walters backed up many of those experiences. Wood, who was in a relationship with Manson from 2007 to 2010, said she was "brainwashed" and "horrifically abused." Manson said in a 2009 interview that he fantasized about smashing in her skull every day.
"My clients continue to fully support the LASD in its ongoing investigation and applaud this latest step towards making sure Brian Warner is held to account," Jay Ellwanger, an attorney representing Bianco and Smithline, tells Rolling Stone, which recently published an exposé of the singer. Manson previously denied the women's claims, calling them "horrible distortions of reality" as his "intimate relationships have always been entirely consensual." His attorney, Howard E. King, said Bianco's 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," per Deadline. King similarly said a videographer who accused Manson of assault pursued a complaint after demanding "more than $35,000." (More on that here.)