Marilyn Manson's lawyer acknowledged Tuesday (Feb. 16) that two associates of the shock rocker grabbed the then-executive editor of Spin magazine backstage at a New York club in November but said it was in self-defense and that "it lasted two seconds."
In turn, lawyer Paul Cambria said Manson will countersue editor Craig Marks for defamation by the end of this week.
He said Marks, who sued Manson and the two associates last month for between $1 million and $5 million in damages, has stained the shock rocker's name.
"[Marks] has been telling the world about an assault that did not occur," Cambria said.
Marks, who has since been dismissed from Spin -- his last day there was Feb. 5, according to magazine spokesperson Jason Roth -- said in December that Manson invited him backstage after the goth-turned-glam rocker's performance at the Hammerstein Ballroom.
Marks said Manson, upset that he wasn't featured alone on Spin's January cover, threatened to kill him. Moments later, Marks said, two men with the singer -- Aaron Dilks and Steven Miller -- lifted him by his neck and pinned him against a wall until he could not breathe.
Cambria said Marks and Manson actually argued over the magazine's content. He said Marks, whose hands were in his pockets, suddenly took them out, and "that just caused [Dilks and Miller] to restrain him. It lasted two seconds."
Marks' civil suit claims Dilks and Miller were bodyguards for the rocker. Cambria, who represents both men as well as Manson, said Dilks is a personal bodyguard, and Miller is a childhood friend of Dilks from Philadelphia who was merely hanging out backstage.
He also said Manson never threatened to "kill Marks, his whole family and everyone he knew," as Marks' suit claims.
Marks' lawyer, Edward Davis, said Cambria's and Manson's versions of events "doesn't correspond to the account we've heard. We stand by [the original account]." He dismissed the notion that Marks motioned toward Manson with his hands.
"Have you ever met Craig Marks? He's not a threatening person in behavior or appearance," Davis said.
Marks filed a criminal complaint with police after the incident. Officer John Giammarino, a public information officer with the New York Police Department, said Monday the complaint is still open and no arrests have been made.
Manson offered his own account of the incident in a December posting on his official website (www.marilynmanson.net).
"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," Manson wrote. "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."
In his suit, filed in early January, Marks named Manson, Dilks, Miller, and both Interscope and Nothing Records -- who were cited for possible negligence in handling security for the rocker -- as defendants.
But Davis said he was preparing papers that would release the two record companies from the case. He said he has received assurances from representatives of the labels that they were not involved in hiring Manson's bodyguards.
Cambria said the counterclaim would be submitted along with his answer to Marks' suit in the civil branch of New York County Supreme Court by the end of this week.
He said the countersuit will not specify the damages his clients are seeking other than to demand "appropriate" compensation from Marks.
Marilyn Manson is scheduled to begin a co-headlining tour with Hole Feb. 28 in Spokane, Wash. Manson is promoting his most recent album Mechanical Animals, which includes "The Dope Show" (RealAudio excerpt) and "I Don't Like the Drugs (But the Drugs Like Me)" (RealAudio excerpt).