Credit: Katarina Benzova

Axl Rose denies sexual assault allegations, citing previous acknowledgments of consent by accuser

Author Arto Mäenpää - 7.3.2024

In November, Guns N’ Roses frontman Axl Rose faced accusations of sexual assault from former Penthouse model Sheila Kennedy. The allegations were outlined in a lawsuit filed at New York Supreme Court, recounting an alleged incident from 1989 after Kennedy met Rose in a nightclub. Now, Rose’s legal representatives have challenged these claims, asserting that Kennedy had previously affirmed the encounter as consensual.

According to new court documents reviewed by multiple sources, Rose’s lawyer stated, “In her 2016 self-authored memoir, No One’s Pet, Kennedy described the alleged incident in the Complaint as consensual sex, and specifically noted: ‘I was okay with this. I had wanted to be with him since the minute I’d first laid eyes on him, and now I was getting him.‘”

The attorney continued, “In an interview for the 2021 documentary Look Away, Kennedy described the alleged sexual encounter this way: ‘[i]t was consented’; Rose was ‘not trying to hurt me’; and Rose acted ‘gently.’ Kennedy reiterated: ‘It was okay. He was fine. … I did not consider it rape. It was consensual.'”

Kennedy’s lawsuit was filed shortly before the statute of limitations on sexual misconduct claims for civil suits expired (it was initially waived for 12 months in November 2022 under the New York Adult Survivors Act). Rose’s legal team has accused Kennedy of attempting to capitalize on the statute’s reopening.

Despite having made clear and definitive statements, both before and after the height of the ‘Me Too’ movement, that her alleged sexual encounter with Rose was consensual, her position has now shifted,” they argued. “The belief that the statute of limitations had reopened and that she could profit from claiming – for the first time, nearly 35 years later – that the incident had not in fact been consensual, was apparently too great an opportunity to pass up, and so she filed this false Complaint a mere two days before its expiration.

Rose’s lawyers have also called for sanctions against Kennedy and her legal team for allegedly “engaging in frivolous conduct, making materially false statements, engaging in conduct undertaken primarily to harass and maliciously injure Defendant, and failing to conduct reasonable inquiry and diligence.

Kennedy’s lawsuit alleged that she had agreed to attend a party in Rose’s hotel suite, where she and other guests were allegedly given cocaine and alcohol before she was attacked and assaulted.