Manson Sued for Wrongful Death

Mother of Jennifer Syme, late girlfriend of Keanu Reeves, claims Marilyn Manson gave her cocaine before fatal car accident

By Mark Armstrong Apr 03, 2002 6:30 PMTags
Marilyn Manson is accused of starring in an all-too-tragic Dope Show.

The mother of a woman killed in a car accident is suing the shock rocker for wrongful death, claiming Manson (real name: Brian Warner) supplied her daughter with cocaine before she died.

Jennifer Syme--the former girlfriend of Keanu Reeves who gained attention after she suffered a miscarriage with their child--died in Los Angeles last April when she reportedly lost control of her SUV and crashed into three parked cars, throwing her from the vehicle.

Syme's mother, Maria St. John, claims Manson gave her daughter "various quantities of an illegal controlled substance" during a party at his home on the night of April 1, 2001.

The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in Los Angeles Superior Court, charges that another defendant drove an "incapacitated" Syme back to her house early the next morning to pick up her car, whereupon she planned to return to Manson's home. She never made it. Syme, 29, died at the scene of the crash, and cocaine was later found in her blood.

St. John claims Manson was negligent in giving her the drugs and then "instructing her to operate a motor vehicle in her incapacitated condition." She is seeking unspecified damages.

Manson released a statement Wednesday denying any wrongdoing.

"Words cannot express the pain that I feel over the loss of Jennifer Syme's life," he said. "After Jennifer was sent home safely with a designated driver, she later got behind the wheel of her own car for reasons known only to her. Her death is sad and tragic."

The Manson lawsuit puts another bizarre spin on the tragic final years of Syme's life. She began dating Reeves in the late '90s, and she also once worked as an assistant to David Lynch, appearing in Lynch's 1997 film Lost Highway as the "Junkie Girl." (Lynch also dedicated Mulholland Drive to her in the film's closing credits.)

Syme suffered a miscarriage with Reeves' child in December 1999, and the couple split up not long after, though they reportedly remained friends.

Manson, meanwhile, has been keeping his lawyers busy. He's currently facing fourth-degree felony sexual misconduct and assault and battery charges following a run-in with a security guard at a July 2001 concert in Michigan. Manson allegedly wrapped his legs around the guard and rubbed his crotch against him during the show. His next court date is April 25.

(Updated at 2:30 p.m. PT.)