How Axl Rose & Slash Avoided Alleged Statutory Rape Charge From 15-Year Old Girl

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In December 1985, a 15-year old girl named Michelle left Guns N’ Roses’ rehearsal space, and ran naked down Sunset Boulevard. In Slash’s autobiography, he wrote, “My memory of the events is hazy but from what I remember she had sex with Axl up in the loft. Towards the end of the night, maybe as the drugs and booze wore off, she lost her mind and freaked out intensely. Axl told her to leave and tried throwing her out. I attempted to help mediate the situation to get her out quietly, but that wasn’t happening.”

Mick Wall tells the alleged story of the incident and its aftermath in his new book Last of the Giants: The True Story of Guns N’ Roses. He published part of the book on Medium.com, and you can read the excerpt below about the infamous Michelle story. Note that Rose and Slash were never charged.

A naked, underage girl running away from adult men along one of the busiest streets in Los Angeles was not going to go unnoticed, and within hours the LAPD were back at the Hell House with the girl, looking to ID her assailants. Everyone in the house was brought outside except for Axl, who hid behind some equipment along with another girl. “While the cops are out there harassing everybody, asking their stupid questions, I’m with this girl behind the amp and we start going at it,” he later boasted. “That was the rush! I got away with it! It was really exciting.”

The police left, warning the band that Axl needed to turn himself in. Within a few days the garage had been raided and searched. The band was told that the girl and her parents were pressing charges of statutory rape (a minor is considered by law as incapable of giving consent to sexual intercourse) against Axl and Slash. There were rumours that the garage was under surveillance from undercover officers, and also the LAPD vice squad. Despite Axl’s bravado, he and Slash quickly skipped the scene when reality — and the possibility of a mandatory five-year jail sentence — hit home. Slash retreated to an apartment Steven was sharing with a new girlfriend, Monica, who was a stripper at the Seventh Veil — and who Slash later claimed he and Steven had “awesome threesomes” with — while Axl slept rough in West Hollywood, making use of the Tower Records parking lot and bathrooms in gas stations and cheap restaurants.

They were now afraid to play live in case Axl or Slash or both were arrested at the gig. They cancelled a show at the Music Machine, and did not take any further bookings. Growing desperate, Slash rang Vicky Hamilton, their sometime promoter/manager, and begged her to take Axl in for a few days. Hamilton had a one-bed apartment at 1114 North Clark Street that she’d secured with settlement money she’d received for relinquishing an interest in the management of Poison, who were now in the process of breaking big. She was sharing with a friend in need, Jennifer Perry, and working as an agent for Silver Lining Entertainment as well as helping Guns N’ Roses out on an ad hoc basis. (Even before Guns headed out on the Hell Tour, Hamilton had “made myself available for the band 24/7. They would often come by my apartment to check in.”) That arrangement became more solid as soon as Axl showed up as a fugitive from the LAPD.

“I got a call from Slash,” she elaborated, “asking if Axl could stay and I asked why. Slash had replied: ‘Well, it’s kind of important… the cops are looking for him.’ ‘Why are the cops looking for him?’ ‘He had a girl up in the loft, and I guess they had sex, but then he got mad at her and locked her outside without her clothes and she went to the cops and said that he raped her.’ I was stunned and didn’t know what to say. Slash sort of begged so I said, ‘Okay, for a few days.’ Minutes later Axl walks through the door carrying a plastic garbage bag and a little suitcase full of all his worldly possessions.

“‘Oh, my God.. Thank you so much, Vicky, you have saved my life,’ he said. I asked him what happened and he said very little, other than ‘It was stupid, involving a girl… It won’t happen again,’ Axl promised. He didn’t give me any more information. Everything I heard about the incident from that point on was hearsay.”

The rape charges were later dropped against Rose and Slash due to a lack of hard evidence.