Former Penthouse magazine model sues Axl Rose of Guns N' Roses, saying he raped her in 1989

NEW YORK — A former Penthouse magazine model sued Guns N’ Roses singer Axl Rose on Wednesday, saying he raped her in a 1989 attack at a New York City hotel that left her with anxiety and depression and harmed her career.

Sheila Kennedy, 61, filed the lawsuit in State Supreme Court in Manhattan, seeking unspecified compensatory and punitive damages for physical injury, pain and suffering, severe emotional distress, mental anguish, humiliation, embarrassment, anxiety and economic harm.

The lawsuit was filed against Rose, 61, of Malibu, California, under a temporary New York law, the Adult Survivors Act, that lets adult victims sue over attacks that occurred even decades ago. The law expires after Thursday.

Attorney Alan S. Gutman said in a statement on behalf of Rose: “Simply put, this incident never happened. Notably, these fictional claims were filed the day before the New York State filing deadline expires.”

He added: “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.”

In her lawsuit, Kennedy, of Palm Springs, California, alleges that she met Rose in February 1989 in a Manhattan nightclub, where the singer invited her to join a party in his hotel suite afterward.

According to the lawsuit, Kennedy saw Rose have sex with another model before he became angry with the woman, ordering her out of his suite.

He then turned toward Kennedy, dragging her across a floor by the hair and tying her hands together with pantyhose, before assaulting her from behind, the lawsuit said.

“Rose made no attempt to ask for or check that Kennedy was consenting,” the lawsuit said. “He treated her like property used solely for his sexual pleasure.”

The lawsuit said the attack left Kennedy with lifelong emotional, physical, psychological and financial damage and “symptoms akin to post-traumatic stress disorder whenever she hears Rose’s name or the music of Guns N’ Roses.”

She was diagnosed with anxiety and depression because of the attack and her earnings have suffered because she has avoided nightclubs and social scenarios where she could encounter Rose or hear his music, and those social contacts are important for her career, the lawsuit said.

Kennedy has made the allegations about Rose in the past, including in a 2016 memoir, “No One’s Pet,” and in a 2021 documentary, “Look Away,” about women sexually abused in the music industry.

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

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