Like he has done with the dead animals decorating his Los Angeles-area manse, Marilyn Manson has told his former keyboardist to take his breach-of-contract lawsuit and stuff it.
Manson, whose real name is Brian Warner, filed a countersuit Wednesday against ex-bandmate Stephen Bier (aka Madonna Wayne Gacy), alleging that his fellow shock-rocker did not fulfill his contractual obligations to properly promote Marilyn Manson, the band, when he was still tickling the ivories for them.
Bier often showed up late for recording sessions, performances and promotional appearances, and handed confidential info over to the media and other outsiders without the band's permission, says the complaint filed in L.A. Superior Court.
When it became obvious in 1996 that Manson had become the group's leader and focal point, he and Bier dissolved their business partnership, but the keyboardist continued to collect income from the group's album royalties, concerts and merchandise sales, the suit says.
Bier played on all of the band's studio albums except for this year's Eat Me, Drink Me.
Contracts spelled out Bier's obligations to the band, but he "failed to render services to the best of his ability and in a practical and cooperative manner," Manson claims.
He may still be raking it in from their Antichrist Superstar days, but, according to Bier, his checks have been a few figures short.
The disgruntled musician sued Manson in August for more than $20 million, claiming the uneven-eyed frontman has been bilking the band out of massive amounts of money that he used to pay for, among other things, his lavish wedding to now ex-wife Dita Von Teese, her $150,000 engagement ring, his Vicadin-and-coke habit and a subsequent $3,000-per-day stay in rehab.
Other oddities detailed in Bier's lawsuit that were allegedly financed by the band that ended up lining the walls of Manson's Chatsworth home included a taxidermy model of a grizzly bear, African masks made of human skin and a collection of vintage Nazi paraphernalia, such as a handbag that supposedly once belonged to Hitler's mistress, Eva Braun.
When he learned that Bier had gone after him in court, Manson told MTV News in denying the allegations that he had no idea why this was happening.
"I don't have an explanation for it," the "Beautiful People" purveyor said. "It just seems like another ex-bandmember suing me and trying to assassinate my personality as a means to financial gain, and it just seems old. It's just not fair. If I spent my money on anything, it was my family, and paying his salary for a year when we weren't even touring."
Manson is seeking unspecified damages from Bier, as well as an injunction preventing him from dishing out more private band info.
A hearing is scheduled for Jan. 23 on Manson's motion to quash a subpoena issued for his company's bank and credit card records. His attorneys have called the request irrelevant to the case and accused Bier's camp of going on a "fishing expedition."