Axl Rose Sued Over Alleged 1989 Sexual Assault

Note: This article contains graphic descriptions of alleged sexual assault.


Sheila Kennedy has sued Guns N’ Roses singer Axl Rose for allegedly sexually assaulting her in 1989. Kennedy, a former Penthouse model, alleges in the lawsuit that Rose used his celebrity to “manipulate, control, and violently sexually assault” her at a party, causing “symptoms akin to post-traumatic stress disorder.” Legal representatives for Kennedy filed the summons and complaint today (November 22), requesting a jury trial, under New York’s Adult Survivors Act.

According to the lawsuit, Kennedy met Rose at a nightclub and invited her and another model to his New York hotel room for a party with one of his friends. Kennedy says she initially consented to Rose’s advances, but changed her mind when he became aggressive during sex with the other model, and when he appeared to try to instigate group sex. She claims that, shortly afterward, she went to Rose’s friend’s hotel room when Rose stormed in, blocked her exit, and threw her to the floor. According to the lawsuit, Rose then “grabbed her by the hair and dragged her across the suite back to his bedroom,” causing her knees to bleed.

The lawsuit alleges that Kennedy was crying and trying to gather her belongings when Rose threw her onto the bed and tied up her hands with pantyhose. “He dragged Kennedy to his bedroom like a caveman,” the lawsuit continues, and anally raped her without a condom. She feared that he would retaliate if she tried to escape, so waited for the assault to finish before she left, according to the lawsuit.

As a result of the alleged assault, Kennedy was diagnosed with anxiety and depression, has difficulty with physical and emotional intimacy, and avoids social scenarios where she might hear Rose’s music, the lawsuit alleges. She is seeking damages for assault, battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and gender-motivated violence.

Pitchfork has reached out to representatives for Guns N’ Roses, as well as Sheila Kennedy’s attorneys, for comment.


If you or someone you know has been affected by sexual assault, we encourage you to reach out for support:

RAINN National Sexual Assault Hotline
http://rainn.org
1 800 656 HOPE (4673)

Crisis Text Line
SMS: Text “HELLO” or “HOLA” to 741-741