Spin Editor Reportedly Says Manson Angered By Cover Plans

Craig Marks tells New York Post Manson threatened him because he was unhappy to be sharing January cover.

NEW YORK -- A top editor of Spin magazine reportedly is claiming shock-rocker Marilyn Manson threatened his life while bodyguards choked him because he was unhappy sharing the cover of the January issue of the publication.

"[Putting Manson on the cover alone] had been the original plan, but we felt his record wasn't performing that well so we made alternative plans by doing a group cover which included smaller pictures of Manson and other artists," Executive Editor Craig Marks is quoted as saying in the Nov. 26 issue of the New York Post.

Marks claims he was choked viciously by a pair of Manson's bodyguards backstage at the Hammerstein Ballroom on Nov. 23, because the media savvy singer was unhappy sharing the cover of the magazine's January issue, according to the report.

Marks said he was invited by Manson publicist Jennie Boddy to meet the ghoulish rocker after the sold-out show. Marks said Manson's manager, Tony Ciulla, and John Malm, president of Nothing Records, joined them as they walked backstage to the star's dressing room.

"We walked in and I put out my hand and Marilyn put out his and we shook hands," Marks told the New York Post. He said: 'So, what's the deal?' I said, 'I'm not sure what you're referring to.' Then he strolled away a little bit, yelled for everybody to be quiet and told me: 'I can kill you! I can kill your family! I can kill everyone you know.' "

Immediately following Manson's outburst, the editor was pushed against the wall and lifted off the ground by his neck by two of the singer's bodyguards, according to Marks. Spin is expected to issue an official statement on the incident by Tuesday (Dec. 1).

"My air supply was cut off and I couldn't breathe. One of them screamed: 'From now on, when you deal with Marilyn Manson, you're dealing with us!' " said Marks, who stands 5 feet 10 inches and weighs 160 pounds. "The publicist yelled for them to put me down and they let me go after six or seven seconds. Then Marilyn said to me: 'That will teach you to disrespect me! You have to learn to respect me!' I turned around and got out of there."

Marks attributed the attack to Manson's frustration at not being featured as the sole artist on the upcoming Spin cover that now also will include Garbage lead singer Shirley Manson and -- in a fold-out section -- hip-hoppers Lauryn Hill, Outkast and the Beastie Boys; singer/songwriter Elliott Smith; French pop-duo Air; and pop acts Alanis Morissette, N'Sync and Matchbox 20.

Publicists at Marilyn Manson's Interscope label did not return calls about the incident by press time; however, his official website (www.marilynmanson.net) confirmed Manson had had a confrontation with Marks in a letter posted by the shock rocker.

"I had a conversation with Craig Marks expressing I was tired of Spin's immature business behavior and the series of deals they had broken with me. I told him that I didn't care what he prints or [whether] ... I'm on the cover. I simply no longer wanted to work with him or his magazine that obviously has a lack of respect for musicians and their fans."

Marks refused treatment at the scene, according to police. He later was treated at a hospital for bruises sustained in the alleged attack. Marks provided detectives with a photo of the bodyguards Wednesday, according to the Associated Press. Police said they are investigating the incident.

In another high-profile attack, Jesse Washington, the editor of the hip-hop magazine Blaze, was beaten by four men who attacked him at the magazine's New York City offices Nov. 16, according to police.

Washington, 29, was in a sixth-floor conference room at 215 Lexington Ave., at 4:30 p.m., when four black men allegedly assaulted him with a chair, according to police. An employee called police, who arrived on the scene with an ambulance.

Washington suffered lacerations and fractures to his face and was treated at New York University Hospital and later released.

The alleged attack by Manson's bodyguards came just two days after Manson and members of his entourage were accused of going on an arson and property-damage spree before and after a show in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. The show was part of Manson's tour in support of the LP Mechanical Animals, which includes the hit single "The Dope Show" (RealAudio excerpt).

Before their show at the nearly sold-out, 3,000-capacity Poughkeepsie Civic Center, unidentified members of the group set fire to a T-shirt in their dressing room, which in turn set carpeting ablaze and brought the local fire department rushing to the scene, Poughkeepsie fire chief Jack Forbes said.

"It was basically out when we arrived," Forbes said of the minor blaze, adding that the group also had apparently destroyed some lighting equipment and "basically trashed" the dressing room.

The mayhem continued at the Sheraton Hotel in Poughkeepsie following the show, as bandmembers set fire to carpeting in four hotel rooms and soiled sinks with hair dye, according to the New York Post.

During an appearance on comedian David Letterman's "Late Show" on Friday, Manson twice claimed to have been jailed for the incident and maintained a flip attitude throughout.

"They said I was mad, but I wasn't mad," the red-tressed, black-leather-clad Manson told Letterman in reference to the New York Post report of the Poughkeepsie incident. "I looked at the dressing room, and I thought it needed some remodeling," was the only explanation given by the controversial singer. "If you were me and you were in a dressing room, wouldn't you do the same?"

Brian Touhey, dispatcher for the Poughkeepsie police, said Marilyn Manson did not spend time in jail there last week.

(Contributing Editor Frank Tortorici contributed to this report.)