Axl Rose Accused of Sexual Assault, New Lawsuit Claims


Axl Rose has been accused of “violent” sexual assault, Us Weekly can confirm.

Former Penthouse model Sheila Kennedy filed a lawsuit in New York’s Supreme Court on Wednesday, November 22, in which she accused the Guns N’ Rose frontman, 61, of sexually assaulting her in 1989.

According to court documents obtained by Us, Kennedy alleged that Rose “targeted” her when he was “at the peak” of his commercial fame. She claimed that Rose had invited her back to his hotel room for a party after a February 1989 concert in New York City, where he allegedly provided guests with cocaine, champagne and alcohol.

“As Kennedy exited Rose’s bathroom, Rose was waiting outside the door. He pushed Kennedy against the wall and kissed her,” the court documents alleged. “Kennedy found Rose attractive and did not mind this encounter. She was open to sleeping with him if things progressed and if they continued to find each other attractive.”

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Rose then allegedly cleared the room except for himself, Kennedy and two other models to engage in a sexual encounter. According to Kennedy, she was “uncomfortable” after Rose started acting aggressively toward one of the other women.

“The encounter quickly became not just uncomfortable but disturbing. It appeared to Kennedy that Rose was encouraging group sex,” her filing claimed. “She had been open to sex with Rose but had not agreed to, and was not interested in, having group sex.”

When Kennedy tried to leave, the musician reportedly “knocked her to the floor” and dragged her by her hair back to the bed. He allegedly tied her hands to the bedpost with pantyhose before he resumed “violently [having] sex” with another woman. Kennedy also accused Rose of rape, claiming that he “treated her like property used solely for his sexual pleasure.” She claimed that she did not give consent to have sex with the rock star.

Kennedy further claimed that the assault left her with “lifelong emotional, physical, psychological and financial impacts,” as well as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Kennedy is suing Rose for assault, battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress and gender-motivated violence. She is seeking a jury trial.

Rose has not publicly addressed the lawsuit or the accusations. Us Weekly has reached out for comment.

“We expect that Sheila Kennedy’s decision to file this suit will be an important turning point for the music industry,” Dr. Ann Olivarius, Chair of the Executive Committee at McAllister Olivarius, told Us in a statement about her client Kennedy. “Her account is unfortunately all too typical of a culture of violence and sexual misconduct that has been allowed to exist in plain sight for decades. It’s not just individual musicians stepping out of line, but an industrial system of enabling them and then covering up their misconduct and crimes, silencing survivors and normalizing sexual assault. We hope Sheila’s bravery helps other victims find their voice.”

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Axl Rose in the 1980s. KMazur/WireImage/Getty Images

Rose has been a member of Guns N’ Roses, where he serves as the lead vocalist, since 1985. When he was 23, Rose allegedly participated in a gang rape of his then-girlfriend, a 15-year-old minor, in the group’s rehearsal space. The incident is listed in Kennedy’s court filing. Rose was arrested for statutory rape at the time and was ultimately released after the criminal charges were dropped.

If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

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