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Gene Simmons Apologizes for Telling Addicts and The Depressed to Kill Themselves

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Gene Simmons, bassist for the iconic rock group KISS, has issued two apologies for appalling comments made during a recent interview about drug addiction and depression.

Simmons’ comments came in an interview with Songfacts when he was asked if he still gets along with original KISS members Ace Frehley and Peter Criss. His answer is truly dumbfounding.

“No, I don’t get along with anybody who’s a drug addict and has a dark cloud over their head and sees themselves as a victim,” he said.

“Drug addicts and alcoholics are always: ‘The world is a harsh place.’ My mother was in a concentration camp in Nazi Germany. I don’t want to hear f*** all about ‘the world as a harsh place.’ She gets up every day, smells the roses and loves life. And for a putz, 20-year-old kid to say, ‘I’m depressed, I live in Seattle.’ F*** you, then kill yourself.”

“I never understand, because I always call them on their bluff. I’m the guy who says ‘Jump!’ when there’s a guy on top of a building who says, ‘That’s it, I can’t take it anymore, I’m going to jump.’ Are you kidding? Why are you announcing it? Shut the f*** up, have some dignity and jump! You’ve got the crowd.”

After his comments made the rounds, the Australian radio group Triple M announced they would ban KISS music on their five radio stations across Australia.

Simmons responded — just days following the death of Robin Williams to suicide — with a statement on his personal Facebook page:

“Depression is very serious and very sad when it happens to anyone, especially loved ones,” Simmons wrote.

“I have not commented on various allegations made in the media, but I want to make this statement for the record and to clarify. I deeply support and am empathetic to anyone suffering from any disease, especially depression.

“I have never sugarcoated my feelings regarding drug use and alcoholics. Somewhere along the line, my intentions in speaking very directly and perhaps politically-incorrectly about drug use and alcoholics have been misconstrued as vile commentary on depression.”

“Unkind statements about depression was certainly never my intention. And I do not intend to defend myself here and now by listing the myriad charities and self-help organizations I am involved with,” he continued.

“This is not about me. This is about clearing up misconceptions and being clear. My heart goes out to anyone suffering from depression.”

Simmons also posted a similar statement on the official KISS Facebook page:

“I want to make this statement about my views on depression for the record and to clarify my prior remarks,” wrote Simmons.

“To the extent my comments reported by the media speak of depression, I was wrong and in the spur of the moment made remarks that in hindsight were made without regard for those who truly suffer the struggles of depression. I sincerely apologize to those who were offended by my comments. I recognize that depression is very serious and very sad when it happens to anyone, especially loved ones. I deeply support and am empathetic to anyone suffering from any disease, especially depression.”

Image via Wikimedia Commons

Gene Simmons Apologizes for Telling Addicts and The Depressed to Kill Themselves


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