Gene Simmons Apologizes After Calling Prince’s Death “Pathetic”
May 11, 2016
Gene Simmons has apologized after sparking anger over comments he made about Prince, in which he used the word “pathetic” to describe the late pop and rock icon’s death.
The 66-year-old outspoken Kiss rocker and reality star has said in an interview with Newsweek, posted Tuesday, “His drugs killed him….I think Prince was heads, hands and feet above all the rest of them. I thought he left [Michael] Jackson in the dust. Prince was way beyond that. 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.”
Authorities are still investigating the cause of Prince’s death. He was found dead at age 57 on April 21 at his Paisley Park studios in Minnesota. The U.S. Attorney’s office and Drug Enforcement Administration have joined the investigation. Prince died one day before meeting with a California doctor who specializes in addiction, The Minneapolis Star Tribune had reported.
“I just got such s–t from my family for my big mouth again,” Simmons wrote on Twitter later Tuesday. “I apologize—I have a long history of getting angry at what drugs do to the families/friends of the addicts. I get angry at drug overs 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.”
“I was raised in a culture/crowd where drug addicts were written off as losers, and since that’s the narrative I grew up with, it’s been hard to change with the times,” he added. “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.”
In 2014, Simmons sparked controversy over harsh remarks he made about substance abuse, depression and suicide. He later issued an apology.
Simmons has said he himself has never been drunk or high and reiterated this in his interview with Newsweek.
“Except in a dentist’s chair where they knock you out. I’ve never been high or drunk,” he said. “I don’t care if anybody believes it or not. It’s just a personal life choice. I can almost understand drinking or getting high if it made my schmeckel bigger, or made me smarter, but nothing happens.”
Simmons’ aversion to alcohol and drugs stems from his respect for his mother, who survived a Nazi concentration camp during World War II.
“Our entire family was killed off in the gas chambers of Nazi Germany,” he told CNN in 2012. “There is nothing that I would do ever to break my mother’s heart.”
reported by eonline