James Kottak Returns to the Scorpions
He vowed to quit drinking earlier this year after spending a month in a Dubai jail for lewd and insulting behavior. The 51-year-old reportedly consumed five glasses of wine on an April 3 flight to Dubai, and then allegedly began shouting derogatory remarks about Islam once arriving at the airport.
“I don’t remember saying these words and I did not flash my middle finger. … There is no way that I would say such a phrase about Muslims, whether I was drunk or not,” said Kottak, who also denied pulling down his pants. “This is not true. I just lifted my shirt up to show the tattoo on my back” as a “spontaneous act.”
Frontman Klaus Meine expressed support for Kottak in an October talk with Crazyscorps, the Scorpions' French fan club. "We said, 'At this point, it's good if you take a break. Not so much for us, but for yourself. And not so much being the drummer of the Scorpions, but for yourself being a family man,'" Meine said. "'And you should go into rehab and don't think about anything else but just try to clean out yourself and come back the same James we've known for so many years that's been not only our drummer, but also our friend, and a great guy.'"
The Scorpions' next announced date isn't until next summer. In addition to his one-month jail sentence, Kottak was fined approximately $545 for drinking alcohol without a license.