Guns N' Roses frontman Axl Rose was sued on Wednesday over allegations that he raped model and actress Sheila Kennedy in 1989. She is seeking unspecified damages and a jury trial, according to the lawsuit filed on Wednesday, Nov. 22 in New York State Supreme Court.
Kennedy's suit claims the pair met at a New York City nightclub on the night of the alleged sexual assault and returned to Rose's hotel room for a party, where the frontman provided his guests with alcohol and cocaine. The plaintiff claims she was kissed by Rose at one point and was originally open to having sex with him. But that she subsequently changed her mind when Rose allegedly had his friend clear the hotel room of everyone except Kennedy and another unnamed model.
"Rose began kissing and having sex with the other model," the plaintiff claimed in the court document. "Rose was aggressive in a way that appeared painful for the model." Kennedy believed the frontman wanted her to engage in group sex, but she wasn't interested. That's when she left the hotel room and went down the hall.
Kennedy claims she then heard the sound of glass shattering and Rose shouting at the other model. The plaintiff alleges that Rose then came down the hall and pushed her to the floor. "While Kennedy was on the ground, Rose grabbed her by the hair and dragged her across the suite back to his bedroom," the complaint claims. The frontman then allegedly threw the model onto his bed and assaulted her.
"Kennedy did not consent and felt overpowered," the complaint claims. "Kennedy had just witnessed Rose violently have sex with another woman… He dragged Kennedy to his bedroom like a caveman and acted with uncontrolled fury. Rose had physically stopped her from leaving and locked her in. Kennedy was trapped… She understood that the safest thing to do was to lie in bed and wait for Rose to finish assaulting her."
The complaint alleges that Rose "used his fame, status, and power as a celebrity… to manipulate, control, and violently sexually assault Kennedy" and that the alleged assault caused her to experience depression and anxiety.
Kennedy was able to file the lawsuit under New York’s Adult Survivors Act, which allows sexual assault victims to sue their abusers even if the statute of limitations has expired. The November 2022 law which gave plaintiffs one year to file will expire on Friday.
Rose's attorney Alan Gutman has denied all of Kennedy's allegations. "Simply put, this incident never happened," he told Q. "Notably, these fictional claims were filed the day before the New York State filing deadline expires. 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."