Rock legend Gene Simmons has issued a statement apologizing for comments he made about people that suffer from addiction and depression.
The KISS bassist is known for his outspokenness, but for many crossed a line when in an interview with SongFacts.com he remarked "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," and "For a putz 20-year-old kid to say, 'I'm depressed, I live in Seattle.' Fuck you, then kill yourself."
Simmons has never shyed away from controversy
The offhand comment was made on July 31st, but many took notice of his words in light of the suicide of actor Robin Williams, who had battled drug addiction and depression. According to Rolling Stone, Motley Crue's Nikki Sixx was so disgusted by the sentiment, he called for a boycott of all Gene Simmons and KISS-related music on his radio show.
Now Simmons has taken to social media to issue a statement regarding his comments, apologising for his insensitive words. In a Facebook post he wrote "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."
However, although Simmons apologised for any offence caused, he insisted that his comments were taken the wrong way. "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."
Although Simmons did make his comment before the tragic suicide of Robin Williams, his comments are symptomatic of a wider, dangerous attitude to serious mental illness.
This is not the first controversy that KISS have seen in recent months. In July they were accused of bullying the mother of Modern Family star Eric Stonestreet on a flight.