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

By KATHY McCORMACK

Associated Press

Published: 07-18-2023 11:41 AM

CONCORD, N.H. — Marilyn Manson will plead no contest to blowing his nose on a videographer at a 2019 concert in New Hampshire, according to a filing by his attorney.

The rocker, whose legal name is Brian Warner, was charged with two misdemeanor counts of simple assault stemming from the encounter at the Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion in Gilford on Aug. 19, 2019.

A notice of intent filed Monday says 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 fine with part of it suspended and 20 hours of community service within six months. Manson also would need to remain arrest-free and notify local police of any New Hampshire performances for two years.

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

It’s not clear whether Manson would be required to be in court or be allowed to participate via video. His lawyer, Kent Barker, said Tuesday 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 also is accused approaching her a second time, blowing his nose on her arm and hands.

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

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

“The defendant’s performance for the past twenty 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.”

Barker also had 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 fine if convicted.

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

In May, a California 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” actor Esme Bianco.

The Associated Press does not typically name people who say they have been sexually abused unless they come forward publicly.

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