Gene Simmons: ‘I Did Nothing’ to Warrant Fox News Ban
The Kiss member told Sarah Montague on BBC's Hardtalk that "somebody there apparently had the goods in for me and 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."
He went on to explain his problems with social media. "Nobody calls you and says, 'Do you have a comment?'" he noted. "So the story was printed, and, of course, everybody exploded. And Fox, 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."
Simmons was in Fox's studio last month promoting his new book, a financial self-help guide called On Power. His appearance reportedly went off without a hitch, but apparently his off-camera behavior led the network to instill a lifetime ban after allegations of misconduct surfaced.
After being asked on the air about the recent onslaught of women alleging sexual misconduct by powerful men — and noting his support for the women — Simmons allegedly crashed a production meeting, where he ripped off the red velvet shirt he was wearing and yelled, "Hey chicks, sue me!" He topped it off by reportedly "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," according to MetalInjection.
Simmons was then reportedly escorted out of the building, and security was told to prevent him from entering in the future. The news prompted two women to come forward on social media with allegations of their own against Simmons. One, voice actress Mary E. McGlynn, wrote on Nov. 17, "I was hesitant to tweet this, but it has to stop. This happened to me today when I ran into Gene Simmons."She also posted a text account of the situation, in which she noted that during a Simmons visit to her workplace, she went to shake his hand and he responded by pointing to his penis and saying, "That's the fun machine."
"I shared this story publicly because I really feel it's about how we react," she continued. "I can't control Gene Simmons' behavior (who blocked me, btw - never tagged him in the original tweet, he never apologized). We CAN control our reaction. Speak out. You're not alone."
Another woman, Tess Fowler, responded to McGlynn's tweets. "I believe you. I met him at SDCC in 2004 when he was brought by the Heavy Metal booth," she wrote. "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."
During Simmons' recent Hardtalk interview, Montague also asked him about the recent onslaught of women alleging sexual misconduct against powerful men, including the two women who accused him. "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," Simmons responded. "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.
"The women who are going after the Weinsteins of the world? They should go to the cops," he continued. "The police are here and the court system is here for you to do what the women did with Bill Cosby. You have a complaint? Go to the cops. Going to the court of public opinion on social media is … Maybe it exactly happened the way it happened. Why don't you get yourself a lawyer and do due diligence."
While many of the recently accused men have experienced career, social and legal setbacks, none of them has been held criminally responsible for their actions, including Cosby.