Marilyn Manson to Plead No Contest to Blowing His Nose on Concert Videographer
Marilyn Manson looks to be nearing the end of another court case. According the Associated Press, the musician is set to enter a no contest plea in relation to a 2019 incident in which he was accused of blowing his nose on a videographer at a concert.
Manson, who was charged under his legal name Brian Warner, initially was cited for two misdemeanor counts of simple assault as a result of the incident that took place at the Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion in Gilford, New Hampshire on Aug. 19, 2019.
Manson's lawyer filed a notice of intent on Monday (July 17) that the musician was expected to plead no contest to one charge and that the prosecutors would dismiss the other charge in a negotiated plea deal. The no contest plea means that Manson would not contest the charge, nor would he admit guilt.
The result of the deal would mean that the singer would face a sentence that included a $1,200 fine, with part of the sentence suspended, and 20 hours of community service within six months of the sentencing. Other conditions include Manson remaining arrest-free and notifying local New Hampshire police ahead of any performances over the next two years.
Though the notice of intent was filed, a judge still has to accept the plea, which is expected to be entered this Thursday (July 20) in Belknap County Superior Court. This would be in place of a final pretrial hearing that was scheduled in advance of an Aug. 7 trial start.
Per the police affidavit, Manson approached videographer Susan Fountain in the stage pit area, put his face close to her camera and spit "a big lougee" at her. She says she was struck on both hands with the singer's saliva. He was also accused of approaching her a second time and blowing his nose on her arm and hands. Per the AP report, prosecutors are planning to dismiss the charge stemming from the first encounter.
An arrest warrant was issued for Manson in May 2021 over the incident. Upon learning of the charges against him, Manson initially entered a "not guilty" plea, with his lawyers arguing that the interaction was incidental and consensual.
Manson's attorney, Kent Barker, argued that the type of filming that Fountain was doing commonly puts videographers in an area where "incidental contact" with bodily fluids can occur.
"The defendant’s performance for the past 20 years are well known to include shocking and evocative antics similar to those that occurred here,” Barker wrote. “The alleged victim consented to exposing herself to potential contact with sweat, saliva and phlegm in close quarters.”
If the Manson case were to make trial, the singer could have received a jail sentence of less than a year and a $2,000 fine if convicted.
The initial charges came during a tumultuous time for the musician as he stood accused of sexual and other forms of abuse by multiple women. The singer denied his wrong doing and many of the cases either against Manson or with the musician filing suit against his accuser are now wrapping up.
In 2021, Manson's former fiancee, Evan Rachel Wood, banded with at least four other women to publicize their accusations simultaneously. Wood claimed Manson "started grooming me when I was a teenager and horrifically abused me for years. I was brainwashed and manipulated into submission. I am done living in fear of retaliation, slander or blackmail. I am here to expose this dangerous man and call out the many industries that have enabled him."
In 2022, Manson sued Wood for defamation and conspiracy. "There will come a time when I can share more about the events of the past year," the singer said. "Until then, I'm going to let the facts speak for themselves."
One of Manson's other accusers, Ashley Morgan Smithline (AKA Ashley Lindsay Morgan), later recanted her allegation. Smithline initially sued him and spoke to People about her claims. A judge dismissed that lawsuit in 2023.
Manson also settled with Game of Thrones actress Esme Bianco, coming to an out of court settlement in late January. A prior suit filed by former Marilyn Manson assistant Ashley Walters was dismissed in May 2022 after the statute of limitations ran out.
In May of this year, news emerged that the embattled rock star was dealt a blow in his legal fight with Wood when a judge dismissed much of his defamation lawsuit against her.