Marilyn Manson Pleads No Contest to Blowing Nose on Videographer, Gets Fine

Musical artist Marilyn Manson, whose legal name is Brian Hugh Warner, waits for the judge to arrive in Belknap Superior Court,Monday, Sept. 18, 2023, in Laconia, N.H. (AP)
Musical artist Marilyn Manson, whose legal name is Brian Hugh Warner, waits for the judge to arrive in Belknap Superior Court,Monday, Sept. 18, 2023, in Laconia, N.H. (AP)
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Marilyn Manson Pleads No Contest to Blowing Nose on Videographer, Gets Fine

Musical artist Marilyn Manson, whose legal name is Brian Hugh Warner, waits for the judge to arrive in Belknap Superior Court,Monday, Sept. 18, 2023, in Laconia, N.H. (AP)
Musical artist Marilyn Manson, whose legal name is Brian Hugh Warner, waits for the judge to arrive in Belknap Superior Court,Monday, Sept. 18, 2023, in Laconia, N.H. (AP)

Marilyn Manson was sentenced to 20 hours of community service and a fine on Monday after pleading no contest to blowing his nose on a videographer at a 2019 concert in New Hampshire.

The shock rocker, 54, wanted to appear via video for his hearing on the misdemeanor charge, but the judge required him to be in the courtroom in Laconia, about 30 miles north of Concord, the state capital.

Manson, whose legal name is Brian Warner, was charged with two misdemeanor counts of simple assault stemming from the encounter with the videographer at the Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion in Gilford on Aug. 19, 2019.

Manson pleaded no contest to just the nose-blowing charge in a fully negotiated plea agreement with prosecutors. The prosecutors agreed to dismiss the other charge, which alleged that he spit on the videographer. A no contest plea means Manson is not contesting the charge and does not admit guilt.

Manson was fined a little more than $1,400 as part of the deal, with $200 suspended. He needs to remain arrest-free and notify local police of any New Hampshire performances for two years.

The judge agreed to allow Manson to serve his community service in California. He mentioned to reporters that he might choose to work with people in recovery. Manson has to give proof of his community service by Feb. 4.

According to a police affidavit, Manson approached videographer Susan Fountain in the venue’s stage pit area, put his face close to her camera and spit a "big lougee" at her. She was struck on both hands with saliva. He approached her again later, kneeling and covering one nostril before blowing the other on her arms and hands.

Fountain said via a statement that it "the most disgusting thing a human being could have done."

Manson "blows a significant amount of mucous at Fountain," a police sergeant who reviewed concert video footage said in the affidavit. After that, the camera view changes to another one and you can see Manson "point and laugh at Fountain as she gets down and walks away," the affidavit said.

Monday, Manson walked into the main entrance of the courthouse, through security. He was wearing a suit, dressed head to toe in black, and dark sunglasses. Security staff referred to him as "Mr. Warner," and he identified himself in court as "Brian Warner," using a soft speaking voice.

He otherwise only answered "yes" to the judge’s questions asking if he understood the proceeding, and made no statement. Prosecutor Andrew Livernois said it was his first offense and he had no prior record.

Fountain was not present in court.

Manson initially pleaded not guilty to both charges in 2021. He was scheduled to go to trial in August. His lawyer had said that the type of filming Fountain was doing commonly exposes videographers to "incidental contact" with bodily fluids.

"The defendant’s performance for the past twenty years are well known to include shocking and evocative antics similar to those that occurred here," attorney Kent Barker wrote. "The alleged victim consented to exposing herself to potential contact with sweat, saliva and phlegm in close quarters."

Barker also had said Manson planned to argue that any contact related to spitting or sneezing was unintentional.

If Manson had gone to trial on the charges, each could have resulted in a jail sentence of less than a year and a $2,000 fine if convicted.

Manson emerged as a musical star in the mid-1990s, known as much for courting public controversy as for hit songs like "The Beautiful People" and hit album’s like 1996’s "Antichrist Superstar" and 1998’s "Mechanical Animals."

In May, a California judge threw out key sections of Manson’s lawsuit against his former fiancée, "Westworld" actor Evan Rachel Wood, claiming she fabricated public allegations that he sexually and physically abused her during their relationship and encouraged other women to do the same. He is appealing the ruling.

Manson’s suit, filed last year, alleges that Wood and another woman named as a defendant, Illma Gore, defamed Manson, intentionally caused him emotional distress and derailed his career in music, TV and film.

Several women have sued Manson in recent years with allegations of sexual and other abuse. Most have been dismissed or settled, including a suit filed by "Game of Thrones" actor Esme Bianco.

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



Football Fever Inspires Unusual Opera in Germany

A singer performs during a football opera in Hamburg, Germany, June 15, 2024. (Reuters)
A singer performs during a football opera in Hamburg, Germany, June 15, 2024. (Reuters)
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Football Fever Inspires Unusual Opera in Germany

A singer performs during a football opera in Hamburg, Germany, June 15, 2024. (Reuters)
A singer performs during a football opera in Hamburg, Germany, June 15, 2024. (Reuters)

Football fever at Euro 2024 in Germany is being felt not only inside packed stadiums, raucous bars and heaving city squares - but also in the more rarefied atmosphere of an opera house.

On the banks of the Elbe river in Hamburg, one of the tournament's host cities, a new production called the "Fussballoper" (Football Opera) is selling out to lovers of both sport and music.

The work by director Inken Rahardt recreates a football pitch and the chaotic interactions between players, referee and ball, mixing fan chants with traditional arias and pop songs.

Naturally, it lasts 90 minutes: the time of a game.

"The connection between football and opera is just perfect," Rahardt said on another busy night at the Opernloft (Opera Loft) venue in a trendy part of Germany's second-largest city.

"The hall is buzzing, people are happy, they recognize the soccer moves, connect that with the emotional music of opera and just have a great evening."

Songs range from the Champions League anthem to Giacomo Puccini's "Nessun dorma" - with plenty of participation from spectators in colorful hats and scarves.

"It's a big mix of everything, different genres," said singer Freja Sandkamm, who plays a referee and quipped that her biggest challenge was to suppress her normal opera voice and learn how to "belt" out football songs instead.

Spectators were delighted.

One lady said she was finally able to bring her football-loving partner to the opera, while others praised the imaginative albeit surreal fusion of entertainment cultures.

"I chose it for the combination really because I thought it's really a good way to attract people that maybe are not going to opera very much," said York Rudhard, 53, a pharmaceutical scientist from Hamburg.