18 July 2023

Marilyn Manson to plead no contest to blowing his nose on videographer

18 July 2023

Marilyn Manson will plead no contest to blowing his nose on a videographer at a 2019 concert, according to his lawyer.

The rock star, whose legal name is Brian Warner, was charged with two misdemeanour counts of simple assault stemming from the encounter at the Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion on August 19, 2019.

A notice of intent has been filed saying that Manson is expected to plead no contest to only one charge, and that prosecutors would dismiss the other in the fully negotiated plea.

A no contest plea means Manson will not contest the charge and does not admit guilt.

Manson would face a sentence of a 1,200 US dollar (£916) fine with part of it suspended and 20 hours of community service within six months.

Manson would also need to avoid being arrested and notify local police of any performances in New Hampshire for two years.

A judge would have to accept the plea, which is expected to be entered on Thursday in Belknap County Superior Court. That is in place of a final pre-trial hearing that was scheduled in advance of his planned trial on August 7.

It is not clear whether Manson would be required to be in court or be allowed to participate via video. His lawyer, Kent Barker, said it would be up to the judge.

According to a police affidavit, Manson approached videographer Susan Fountain in the venue’s stage pit area, put his face close to her camera and spit a “big lougee” at her. She was struck on both hands with saliva.

He is also accused of approaching her a second time and blowing his nose on her arm and hands.

Prosecutors planned to dismiss the charge stemming from the first encounter, according to the notice.

Manson initially pleaded not guilty in 2021. His lawyer had said at the time that the type of filming Ms Fountain was doing commonly exposes videographers to “incidental contact” with bodily fluids.

“The defendant’s performance for the past 20 years are well known to include shocking and evocative antics similar to those that occurred here,” Mr Barker wrote. “The alleged victim consented to exposing herself to potential contact with sweat, saliva and phlegm in close quarters.”

Mr Barker also said Manson planned to argue that any contact related to spitting or sneezing was unintentional.

If Manson had gone to trial on the charges, each could have resulted in a jail sentence of less than a year and a 2,000 dollar (£1,529) fine if convicted.

Manson has also faced abuse accusations unrelated to the New Hampshire allegation in recent years. He has denied wrongdoing.

In May, a judge threw out key sections of Manson’s lawsuit against his former fiancee, Westworld actor Evan Rachel Wood, claiming she fabricated public allegations that he sexually and physically abused her during their relationship and encouraged other women to do the same.

Manson’s suit, filed last year, alleges that Wood and another woman named as a defendant, Illma Gore, defamed Manson, intentionally caused him emotional distress and derailed his career in music, TV and film.

Several women have sued Manson in recent years with allegations of sexual and other abuse. Most have been dismissed or settled, including a suit filed by Game Of Thrones star Esme Bianco.

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