KISS frontman Gene Simmons keeps finding himself in controversy. It started a few weeks back during a press day at Fox News, where he was banned after acting inappropriately towards some women who worked there. Shortly after being asked about the Weinstein allegations on a show, and claiming to support women, Simmons barged into a conference room, unbuttoned his shirt to expose his chest and started yelling “Hey chicks, sue me!”
According to a report from The Daily Beast, "he starting telling Michael Jackson pedophilia jokes, and then bopped two employees on the head with his book, making derisive comments about their comparative intelligence according to the sound their heads made when struck." Simmons was escorted out of the building and now there is a photo of his at the front security desk, with an advisory not to be let onto the premises. The very next days, two women came forward and accused Simmons of sexual misconduct.
Voice actress Mary E. McGlynn claimed she went to shake Simmons' hand and Simmons allegedly pointed to his dick and said "that's the fun machine." A cartoonist, Tess Fowler, responded to McGlynn's tweet saying she met Simmons at San Diego Comic Con in 2004 and he hugged her and allegedly said she "was keeping the candy away from him (hugging with just my upper body)" and then grabbed her hips and thrust against her.
“All of a sudden, 44 years on in a rock band, somebody’s coming up and saying, ‘This guy is a bad guy.’ It’s not true. I think the climate is horrifically bad and yet at the same time empowering to the right women. There are some really bad guys out there; I just happen not to be one of them.”
In the same interview, Simmons downplayed the Fox News ban saying:
“Here’s how I wear my shirt. Somebody there apparently had the goods in for me and called something called The Daily Beast or something and said whatever they said I did. I did nothing. I always had people around me. Like when I come here, I’ve got handlers and everybody sees what I’m doing. You can’t go into a public area and do anything.”
“The problem is with social media today is nobody calls you and says, ‘Do you have a comment?’ So the story was printed, and, of course, everybody exploded. And Fox, you know, they’re nice people — I like them a lot — closed ranks and they’re afraid of getting sued by everybody. Nothing happened. I stand by every word.”
Compare this statement to his initial apology after the Fox News ban:
I have appeared frequently over the years on various Fox News and Fox Business programs and have a tremendous amount of respect for the talented women and men who work there. While I believe that what is being reported is highly exaggerated and misleading, I am sincerely sorry that I unintentionally offended members of the Fox team during my visit.
Anyway, now that we're all caught up – a woman has now filed a lawsuit against Simmons for sexual assault. The plantiff is not identifying herself but according to The San Bernardino Sun, she is a “long-time on-air personality for a local rock station.” The assault in question is described by The Sun is:
“According to the lawsuit, during the interview, which occurred on a couch in a designated ‘green room,’ Simmons reached over and grabbed the woman’s hand and ‘forcefully placed it on his knee and held it on his knee.’ The lawsuit states the woman immediately removed her hand from Simmons’ knee.
“’Simmons, the lawsuit states, continued his ‘unwanted, unwarranted sexual advances’ by reaching for the woman’s hand again.
“’Defendant Simmons turned standard interview questions into sexual innuendos, which made plaintiff Doe extremely uncomfortable,’ according to the lawsuit, noting that Simmons grabbed the woman’s hand again, made a cooing sound and said she ‘must use lotion’ before making another sexual innuendo. He then ‘forcibly flicked/struck’ the woman in the middle of her throat, then provided an ‘incoherent explanation’ for doing it after noticing the woman’s shock, according to the lawsuit.”
Simmons is also accused of grabbing the woman's behind when they posed for a photo. The woman's lawyer explains "she filed suit because she wanted to make a strong statement that this behavior is unacceptable and she wants to see an end to this type of behavior."
Simmons has denied the charges in a statement, saying:
"I intend to defend myself against any alleged charges you may have been reading about in the media," Simmons said. "For the record, I did not assault the person making these accusations in the manner alleged in the complaint or harm her in any way. I am conferring with my lawyers with the aim of vigorously countering these allegations. And, I look forward to my day in court where the evidence will prove my innocence."
The entire lawsuit can be viewed below: