Queens of the Stone Age frontman Josh Homme has released a public apology to Chelsea Lauren, a photographer he accidentally kicked during the band’s set at the KROQ Almost Acoustic Christmas show over the weekend. Some people think it was intentional, others think it could have been vices, and others simply think it was an accident.
Drugs? Alcohol? Or Just Rock and Roll?
Homme and company played the first night of the annual KROQ show with Muse, Thirty Seconds to Mars, Rise Against, a few other bands in Inglewood, California. Queens of the Stone Age played third and, according to a recap by Variety, the frontman seemed slightly out of it. His antics of the night included getting the crowd to collectively boo their fellow musicians Muse (“You guys here to see Muse? Fuck Muse!”), cutting his own forehead with a knife during the second half of their set, and telling a crowd member “I used to fuck guys like you in prison.”
The worst came around when Homme was seen kicking a female photographer in the face in the middle of their set. He might have seemed destructive to others but according to Chelsea Lauren, he was completely unprovoked and even smiled before he kicked her. As seen on an Instagram video taken a few feet back, Homme was walking around while Lauren was shooting on one side of the stage. He walks past her but a second later, backtracks and kicks her camera which in return hits her in the face. The rest of the Queens of the Stone Age set plays on and no mention of the incident surfaces all throughout.
Lauren stayed in the venue to continue shooting Thirty Seconds to Mars and Muse before heading to a Cedars-Sinai Hospital for treatment. According to her, she was required to stay in the ER for a night but went back to the venue to shoot the second night of the KROQ event. She described the incident as “very intentional” and claimed that she will file a police report.
Two Sides of the Story
While citizens of social media began to pick up their pitchforks and torches, Homme released a couple of statements regarding the situation. On the first statement, Homme apologized and stated that he would “never intentionally cause harm to anyone working or attending one of our shows” and that he hopes Lauren will accept his apology.
— QOTSA (@qotsa) December 10, 2017
A few hours later, he released a two-minute video on the band’s social media pages. Once again, he apologizes to Lauren and calls himself “a total dick.” He mentions his family—his parents, wife and female rockstar Brody Dalle, his brother, and his kids.
— QOTSA (@qotsa) December 11, 2017
Many have given their two cents on the matter. Homme’s friend and celebrity chef/TV show host Anthony Bourdain expressed his sadness over the incident on Twitter, saying that Homme’s first apology was “weak” but showed support to his friend later on.
Waking up in Bhutan to the Josh Homme @QOTSA shit and still in the WTF!!!??!! Phase. Senseless. And a weak ass apology.
— Anthony Bourdain (@Bourdain) December 11, 2017
— Anthony Bourdain (@Bourdain) December 11, 2017
Others blamed it on drugs and alcohol, although nobody has definitive proof that Homme was under the influence of drugs during that show. Still, it didn’t stop them from throwing the blame on vices.
Josh Homme, you were cool until your drunk arrogance thought it was okay to kick a photographer’s camera and injuring their face. This is not rock n roll, no matter how in the zone you are
— Naomi (@YouthquakerMimi) December 10, 2017
With those crucifying Homme, there is also a side that defends him. On one of Lauren’s Instagram posts of the incident, some in the comments section pointed out the fact that she was using a step ladder in the photographer pit. They also called her out for staying to shoot the last two bands before seeking for aid instead of going to the hospital right away.
View this post on Instagram
Thank you everyone that has reached out with supportive messages. A small update, as I'm being flooded with questions: My neck is a sore, my eyebrow bruised and I'm a bit nauseous. The doctor released me early in the morning. Here are three images. Two of them as Josh looked at me, smiled and then kicked me. The other one is later after he cut his own face with a knife. I was in the pit in tears – and he just stared at me smiling. Assault in any form is not okay, no matter what the reasoning. Alcohol and drugs are no excuse. I was where I was allowed to be, I was not breaking any rules. I was simply trying to do my job. I hold nobody accountable for this but Josh himself. KROQ has nothing to do with this and I will always support them. The irony is someone had thrown an ice cube on to the very slick catwalk before the QOTSA set. I was afraid that one of the band members might slip and hurt themselves so, when the lights went dark, I used my arm to wipe down the runway so nobody would hurt themselves. Thank you to @variety for their immediate concern and care with this matter. As of now, nobody from QOTSA has reached out to me. #queensofthestoneage #QOTSA #JoshHomme
Lauren intends to press charges, but none have been made as of writing. We do hope that they both get the treatment they need, whatever it may be.
Featured image from Dork