Gene Simmons Apologizes for Comments About Prince’s Death
Gene Simmons has apologized after his controversial quotes about the death of Prince hit the newsstands. The Kiss bassist now says that his "big mouth" led him to not "express myself properly," and that it came from seeing too many people in the music industry throw away their talents by abusing drugs.
On Twitter, he posted a picture of his official statement. "I just got such shit from my family for my big mouth again," it began. "I apologize – I have a long history of getting very angry at what drugs do to the families/friends of the addicts. I get angry at drug users because of my experience being around them coming up in the rock scene. In my experience they've made my life, and the lives of their loved ones, difficult."
He then went on to say that his views on drugs stemmed from his upbringing. "I was raised in a culture/crowd where drug addicts were written off as losers," he continued, "and since that's the narrative I grew up with, it's been hard to change with the times. Needless to say, I didn't express myself properly here – I don't shy away from controversy, and angry critics really don't bother me at all. If I think I'm right, I'll throw up a finger and dig my heels in and laugh. But this time, I was not. So, my apologies."
Earlier, Simmons, who has famously stayed away from drugs and alcohol throughout his life, said of Prince's death, "his drugs killed him. What do you think, he died from a cold? ... But how pathetic that he killed himself. Don’t kid yourself, that’s what he did. Slowly, I’ll grant you – but that’s what drugs and alcohol is: a slow death.”
Although it has been rumored that Prince was addicted to prescription painkillers at the time of his death, the official cause of death has yet to be revealed.
And while Simmons did acknowledge that his words wore inappropriate, he added a post-script where he blamed the media for making him out to be the villain. "What I will say is that there is a part of this that is journalists guote-mining things I've said in the past and applying it to new situations," he wrote. "This, too, happens often and not just to me. So, quote-mining, too, is wrong. It doesn't make my past quotes any more tactful, but still – be wary of click bait. The uglier they can make it seem, the more views they can get."
Several hours before Simmons issued his apology, Paul Stanley, made it clear that he did not agree with his band mate. "Embarrassed by cold clueless statements re Prince's death. Without all the facts better to say nothing," he tweeted. "My apologies."