Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Game Of Thrones' Esmé Bianco details abuse allegations against Marilyn Manson

Illustration for article titled Game Of Thrones' Esmé Bianco details abuse allegations against Marilyn Manson
Photo: Jerod Harris (Getty Images)

In the ten days since Evan Rachel Wood came forward, naming Brian “Marilyn Manson” Warner as the man who abused her over the course of several years, she’s been joined by more than a dozen other voices echoing her story. Women from many walks of life, united only in their shared accounts of horrifying experiences at Manson’s hands, have opened up about their experiences while living in his orbit, with allegations of abuse, violence, and sexual assault. Now actress Esmé Bianco—best known for her role as sex worker Ros in the early seasons of Game Of Throneshas added her account to the growing pile, giving The Cut a frank and harrowing assessment of the months that she lived with the musician, and the lingering effects his behavior has had on her life.

Advertisement

Bianco (who, as a teenager, idolized Manson, and identified with his music) notes that she met Warner through his then-future wife Dita Von Teese, who she knew through the world of burlesque. After the marriage broke up, Manson allegedly began pursuing her, first through offers of collaboration and work on music videos and films, but with lines swiftly blurring in ways that made Bianco uncomfortable. She notes that, even when filming together—for a video that ultimately never came out—Manson ignored safe BDSM practices for sexually explicit scenes, tying her up and physically harming her without her consent. Later, when the two began a more explicitly romantic and sexual relationship, she describes an ongoing pattern of sexual and domestic abuse, ranging from constant bruising without her consent, to controlling when Bianco was allowed to sleep and who she was allowed to talk to, to repeatedly playing her Game Of Thrones sex scenes in front of others in an effort to humiliate her. Bianco’s comments are confirmed by others in Manson’s circle, including his former personal assistant Ashley Walters, who all paint a picture of a man tormenting everyone—but especially the women—in his reach through controlling and demanding behavior.

Bianco says her breaking point was when Manson allegedly chased her with an axe. (Walters confirms the incident.) But even after leaving him, the scars—both physical and mental—persisted. Bianco says it took years of therapy, the advent of the #MeToo movement, and seeing Wood talk about her own experiences for her to ultimately come forward. The two actresses recently collaborated on a successful effort to expand California’s domestic violence statute of limitations from three years to five, inspired in part by their own frustrations about their inability to bring Warner to justice for actions whose repercussions lasted much longer than the law was willing to acknowledge.

In the end, Bianco—whose last regular gig was on Syfy’s The Magicians, and who says she struggled for years to work in the aftermath of her treatment by Manson—is unambiguous in her assessment of him: Labeling him a “serial predator” and “a monster” who “almost destroyed so many women,” she makes it clear:He’s not a misunderstood artist. He deserves to be behind bars for the rest of his life.”