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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Axl Rose accused of 1989 rape of Penthouse model in NYC lawsuit

Guns n' Roses lead singer Axl Rose makes a surprise appearance with Saturday's headliner Carrie Underwood, not pictured, to sing a pair of the group's famous songs on the Mane Stage during the second day of the three-day Stagecoach Country Music Festival in Indio Saturday, April 30, 2022.    (Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times/TNS)
By Molly Crane-Newman New York Daily News

NEW YORK — Guns N’ Roses frontman Axl Rose was accused of brutally raping a Penthouse model and dragging her on the floor “like a caveman” in a New York City hotel room more than 30 years ago in a lawsuit brought Wednesday on the eve of the Adult Survivors Act expiring.

In searing detail, Sheila Kennedy’s Manhattan Supreme Court lawsuit describes Rose violently attacking her in a luxury Central Park West hotel suite in February 1989 after meeting her at a nightclub earlier that night.

“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. Kennedy was trapped,” the complaint charges.

“Rose then sexually assaulted Kennedy … (He) made no attempt to ask for or check that Kennedy was consenting. He treated her like property used solely for his sexual pleasure. He did not use a condom.”

Rose denied the allegations through his attorney Alan Gutman. “Simply put, this incident never happened. Notably, these fictional claims were filed the day before the New York State filing deadline (for the Adult Survivors Act) expires,” Gutman said in a statement.

“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.”

Kennedy, 61, of Palm Springs, California, has spoken publicly about the alleged incident in recent years, including in her 2016 memoir, “No One’s Pet.” Her suit lists four causes of action — assault, battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and gender-motivated violence.

“(Kennedy’s) account is unfortunately all too typical of a culture of violence and sexual misconduct that has been allowed to exist in plain sight for decades,” her lawyer, Ann Olivarius, said in a statement.

“It’s not just individual musicians stepping out of line, but an industrial system of enabling them and then covering up their misconduct and crimes, silencing survivors and normalizing sexual assault.”

The suit was filed just over 24 hours of the deadline to bring claims under New York’s Adult Survivors Act, allowing people to sue their alleged assailants no matter how long the incident occurred.

Kennedy, who was Penthouse’s 1983 Pet of the Year and on the cover four times, alleges she met Rose for the first time the night of the assault at an unnamed Manhattan nightclub. She went back to Rose’s hotel room with him and another couple, where she says Rose tried to ply her with cocaine and booze.

After a consensual kissing encounter, the suit describes Kennedy as initially open to sleeping with the larger-than-life rock star, whom she found attractive. But the situation turned dark.

“Rose began kissing and having sex with the other (woman),” the suit alleges. “Rose was aggressive in a way that appeared painful for (her).”

Describing the encounter then becoming “not just uncomfortable but disturbing,” Kennedy’s suit says Rose then began encouraging group sex, which she wasn’t interested in. Rose then left the room, and soon after, she heard objects being smashed and Rose yelling at the woman.

A furious Rose then allegedly stormed toward Kennedy before knocking her to the ground, grabbing her by the hair and dragging her, bloodying her knees on the carpet.

As Kennedy “crawled frantically around the floor, crying, bleeding,” Rose picked her up, threw her on his bed, and tied her hands behind her back with a pair of pantyhose, the suit alleges, and raped her anally “in a sexual, volatile rage.”

Kennedy’s suit describes how she’s experienced PTSD symptoms “whenever she hears Rose’s name or the music of Guns N’ Roses,” suffers from anxiety and depression, and has “irreversibly impacted” trust issues.

The allegations are not the first against the unmarried Rose, 61, who lives in Malibu, California, and is originally from Indiana.

Kennedy’s suit notes “extensive and explosive violence” alleged of the singer-songwriter by his ex-partners and his former band mate observing him throw a woman down a flight of stairs.

It also notes he was accused of participating in the violent gang rape of a 15-year-old girl he dated when he was 23, four years before allegedly raping Kennedy. He was arrested for statutory rape after the incident, but the charges were later dropped.