Gene Simmons Apologizes For Depression Comments (A Top Story)
The controversy started when Simmons was asked if he still gets along with the original members of KISS (Ace Frehley and Peter Criss), and he responded, "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.
"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 the comments made headlines, the Australian radio group Triple M announced that they have banned the playing of KISS music on their five radio stations in the major markets across Australia.
Simmons issued a statement on his personal Facebook page addressing his controversial comments. He wrote, "Depression is very serious and very sad when it happens to anyone, especially loved ones.
"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.
"This is not about me. This is about clearing up misconceptions and being clear. My heart goes out to anyone suffering from depression."
Simmons followed up that statement but posting the following message 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.
"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.
"I have never sugarcoated my feelings regarding drug use and alcoholics. Somewhere along the line, my intention of speaking in very directly and perhaps politically incorrectly about drug use and alcoholics has been misconstrued as vile commentary on depression. Unkind statements about depression was certainly never my intention. Fully, you will know that and I do not intend to defend myself here and now, by listing the myriad charities and self-help organizations I am involved with. Rather, I simply want to be clear that my heart goes out to anyone suffering from depression and I deeply regret any offhand remarks in the heat of an interview that might have suggested otherwise."
Simmons also reportedly shut down his Twitter account following the backlash from the media reports about his comments. Read about that - here.