Guns N’ Roses frontman Axl Rose was hit with a lawsuit Wednesday over allegations that he sexually assaulted a Penthouse model in 1989.
In a complaint filed Wednesday in New York court, attorneys for Sheila Kennedy claim that Rose “used his fame, status, and power as a celebrity and performer in the music industry to gain access to manipulate, control, and violently sexually assault” her.
The alleged attack – in a New York City hotel room in February 1989 — has caused her to suffer “severe emotional, physical, financial and psychological distress” ever since, Kennedy’s lawyers say.
“Kennedy has experienced symptoms akin to post-traumatic stress disorder whenever she hears Rose’s name or the music of Guns N’ Roses,” her attorneys wrote. “Other sexual encounters have drawn her right back to the night that Rose had assaulted her.”
A rep for Rose did not immediately return a request for comment.
The case against Rose is the latest in a string of sexual misconduct lawsuits filed over the last month against men in the music industry, including industry executives like L.A. Reid and superstar artists like Sean “Diddy” Combs. The spike in cases is due to the looming expiration on Thursday of New York’s Adult Survivors Act, which created a one-year window for alleged survivors to take legal action over years-old accusations that would typically be barred under the statute of limitations.
In her complaint against Rose, Kennedy makes graphic allegations of sexual assault.
After first meeting the rock star at a nightclub, Kennedy says Rose invited her back to a party at his hotel room, along with his friend David Andrew “Riki” Rachtman and another model. After providing his guests with “cocaine, champagne, and alcohol,” the lawsuit claims Rose then “pushed Kennedy against the wall and kissed her.”
“Kennedy found Rose attractive and did not mind this encounter,” her lawyers write. “She was open to sleeping with him if things progressed and if they continued to find each other attractive.”
But Kennedy says the night then got darker – first when she witnesses Rose having “painful” sex with the other model, then when she thought he was encouraging group sex. After she exited the room, she claims Rose stormed into a rage, dragged her back into the room, through her onto the bed, and bound her hands.
“Rose then sexually assaulted Kennedy,” Kennedy’s lawyers write. “Rose forcibly penetrating Kennedy’s anus with his penis. Rose made no attempt to ask for or check that Kennedy was consenting. He treated her like property used solely for his sexual pleasure. He did not use a condom.”
Faced with the ongoing attack, Kennedy’s lawyers say she “felt she had no escape or exit and was compelled to acquiesce” to the assault. “She understood that the safest thing to do was to lie in bed and wait for Rose to finish assaulting her.”
Read Kennedy’s full lawsuit here: