Published On: Thu, Nov 23rd, 2023
Music | By MDN

Axl Rose sued for alleged violent sexual assault by former model | Guns N’ Roses

A former model has accused the Guns N’ Roses frontman Axl Rose of a violent sexual assault 30 years ago, according to a lawsuit filed in New York supreme court on Wednesday.

Sheila Kennedy, a former Penthouse model, alleges that Rose violently assaulted her in his New York hotel room the night they met in 1989, when she was about 26 and he was 27. According to the suit, reported by Rolling Stone, Kennedy first met Rose at a nightclub, where he invited her to his hotel room for a party but did not invite her friend as she was “not hot enough”. Kennedy says she apologized to her friend and went back to Rose’s room with the future MTV host Riki Rachtman.

Once back at the room, the suit alleges, Rose plied the guests with cocaine and alcohol. When Kennedy went to the bathroom, Rose allegedly positioned himself outside the door; when she emerged, he “pushed Kennedy against the wall and kissed her”.

“Kennedy found Rose attractive and did not mind this encounter. She was open to sleeping with him if things progressed,” the suit says, though she is adamant that she did not consent to the violent encounter later in the evening.

Kennedy claims to have left the room later into the party, once Rose began having sex with another model that was “aggressive in a way that appeared painful for the model” and made Kennedy uncomfortable. After leaving the room, she heard the sound of glass shattering and Rose screaming at the model. Upon hearing the noise, Rachtman allegedly told Kennedy: “It’s going to get bad.”

Kennedy claims that Rose walked down the hallway to Rachtman’s room, pushed her to the floor and dragged her, causing her to bleed. Once in the room, Rose allegedly threw her on the bed, grabbed pantyhose and tied her hands behind her back.

The suit alleges “he was in a sexual, volatile rage” and that Rose forcibly penetrated Kennedy.

“He treated her like property used solely for his sexual pleasure,” the suit says. “Kennedy did not consent and felt overpowered.”

In a statement, Rose’s attorney Alan Gutman denied Kennedy’s allegations. “Simply put, this incident never happened. Notably, these fictional claims were filed the day before the New York State filing deadline expires,” the statement said.

It continued: “Though he doesn’t deny the possibility of a fan photo taken in passing, Mr. Rose has no recollection of ever meeting or speaking to the Plaintiff, and has never heard about these fictional allegations prior to today. Mr. Rose is confident this case will be resolved in his favor.”

Kennedy says she suffered PTSD-like symptoms after the alleged assault, and that she has suffered anxiety and depression since the incident that compromised her career. She seeks unspecified damages from the court for assault, battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress and gender-motivated violence.

Kennedy had previously shared details of the alleged assault in her 2016 autobiography No One’s Pet and in the 2021 documentary Look Away, on sexual misconduct in the music industry. Her suit also references several other allegations of domestic violence against Rose, including abuse claims from his former partners Erin Everly and Stephanie Seymour. Everly sued Rose for abuse in Los Angeles civil court in 1994, and later settled the claims out of court.

Kennedy’s suit is the latest to rock the music industry through New York’s Adult Survivors Act, which temporarily waived the statute of limitations on sexual misconduct claims for civil suits. Since the law was passed, women have come forward with civil suits alleging sexual misconduct by such prominent men in music including Steven Tyler, the producer LA Reid, the rapper and producer Sean “Diddy” Combs, the former Recording Academy CEO Neil Portnow and the late Atlantic Records founder, Ahmet Ertegun. The window for the Adult Survivors Act closes at midnight on Wednesday.

Information and support for anyone affected by rape or sexual abuse issues is available from the following organisations. In the US, Rainn offers support on 800-656-4673. In the UK, Rape Crisis offers support on 0808 500 2222. In Australia, support is available at 1800Respect (1800 737 732). Other international helplines can be found at

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