KISS star Gene Simmons has spoken out about the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements.
The rock ‘n’ roll legend admits that the movements are generally forces for good, but has slammed the “collateral damage” of those he sees as falsely accused, as “there’s no presumption of innocence.”
“Let me put it bluntly. I think the shitstorm is going to be here for a while and the pendulum will finally get to reality after,” Simmons said during a press event this week, according to the Toronto Sun. “Right now it’s in the extreme. But I’m the last guy to understand any of this stuff.”
“I think it’s wonderful for women to be engaged in the conversation and the positive side is there have been a lot of bad guys who have gotten away with it (and aren’t anymore) – that’s a good thing,” the KISS co-founder says. He added, “The collateral damage is heinous because anybody can say anything and there’s no presumption of innocence. That’s the problem; the problem is you don’t have your day in court.”
He says that women affected by incidents of sexual harassment should sidestep the press and go straight to court. “You’ll make more money,” he says. “You’ll embarrass him everyday. Instead of in a news conference which gets you no money. I’m totally in support of anything and everything that follows the rule of law. Get a lawyer. Do it legitimately.”
The accuser claimed that during an interview, Simmons reached over and forcibly placed her hand on his knee, which made her feel uncomfortable. The singer grabbed her hand again, commenting on how soft they were, saying she must use lotion, before flicking her throat.
The accuser says she then tried to put a stop to the interview, but Simmons kept going, before touching her butt during a group photo.
“For the record, I did not assault the person making these accusations in the manner alleged in the complaint or harm her in any way”, the 68-year-old rocker later wrote on Twitter.