A California radio personality has sued KISS bassist and lead singer Gene Simmons, alleging he made “several aggressive, unwanted sexual advances” and even groped her during an interview last month. The interview took place in a green room at one of Simmons’ Rock & Brews restaurant locations in California, where the woman, identified only as “Jane Doe” in the lawsuit, claims Simmons placed her hand on his knee despite repeated protests and touched her inappropriately during a photo shoot after the interview.
Simmons has issued a response to the suit, denying the allegations and announcing his intent to prove his innocence.
“Defendant Simmons turned standard interview questions into sexual innuendos, which made plaintiff Doe extremely uncomfortable,” according to the lawsuit, filed in California state court. Simmons allegedly grabbed the woman’s hand, “forcefully placed it on his knee and held it on his knee,” and grabbed her hand again, after she removed it from his knee, made a cooing sound, and told her she “must use lotion” before making another sexual innuendo. Following the interview, the woman posed with Simmons for a promotional photograph, during which she claims he “reached toward Plaintiff Doe’s buttocks and touched it.”
Simmons released a statement to Ultimate Classic Rock in response to the lawsuit:
“I intend to defend myself against any alleged charges you may have been reading about in the media. 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.”
A Checkered Kiss-tory
Simmons’ name has been elsewhere in the news, tied to other allegations of inappropriate sexual behavior. Fox News banned Simmons for life after he “crudely insulted female Fox staffers, taunted them and exposed his chest, and otherwise behaved like the ‘demon’ character he plays onstage,” according to the Daily Beast. Simmons’ photo was even added to the building security’s “do-not-admit” list.
Less than a week after the Fox news broke, Simmons was accused by two women on Twitter of inappropriate comments and conduct during introductions. Actress Mary E. McGlynn said that she went to shake Simmons’ hand, and he “pointed to his d*ck saying ‘that’s the fun machine’.” And comics artist Tess Fowler responded to McGlynn’s accusation with one of her own, describing a meeting with Simmons in 2004: “He hugged me and then told me I was keeping the candy away from him (hugging with just my upper body). He grabbed my hips and thrust against me.”
No lawsuits or charges were filed in either of those cases so far, and Simmons said both incidents “absolutely did NOT happen.”