Gene Simmons says that his behavior has sometimes been out of line, but insists that he is a good guy who sleeps well at night.
The KISS bassist/vocalist made his comments less than two months after it was reported that he had settled a sexual battery lawsuit filed against him by a radio and television broadcaster.
Simmons spoke about his behavior toward women late last month during an appearance on Australia's "The Project" show. He said (see video below): "Oh, I'm sure some of it's been out of line, but I'm a good guy. I sleep well at night. I have a wonderful family and kids. And it is true that people can say all kinds of things, but I happen to be a good guy. The unfortunate thing is there used to be something called presumption of innocence, that the courts would handle something. And now, the Internet and stuff…
"Look, I wish everybody well," he continued. "My past is checkered, like most people's is, and let those who are without sin cast the first stone. You're in a band, and the arrogance and cocksmanship, if you will, in the '70s and '80s, and even later on, you can come on and just be brazen and just sort of inappropriate and you go, 'That's right. You're in a band.' I wouldn't be able to have gotten away with any of that if you were a dentist or a politician or a plumber.
"For guys especially, when the ladies aren't around, we're full of garbage — we talk garbage, we do all kinds of stupid stuff — and if it wasn't for the highest form of life on earth — women; our moms, our daughters, our wives, girlfriends and so on — we'd be living in darkness," Gene added. "If it wasn't for my mother and [my wife] Shannon, and especially Sophie, my daughter — she holds my feet to the fire, and rightfully so."
The woman who sued Gene, identified as "Jane Doe," filed the lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court on last December alleging that the KISS bassist/vocalist grabbed her hand multiple times and "forcefully placed it on his knee and held it on his knee." The accuser, identified in the documents as a "longtime on-air personality for a local rock station," also said the 69-year-old rocker "forcibly flicked/struck" her throat when she spoke to Simmons and his bandmate Paul Stanley at their Rock & Brews restaurant at San Manuel Casino in Highland, California. In addition, she claimed Simmons "reached toward [her] buttocks and touched it" while they were posing for a promotional photo together after the interview.
A hearing took place on July 2 about the case, and the woman's attorney told Los Angeles County Supreme Court Judge Daniel S. Murphy the parties had reached a settlement. The judge said both sides need to file a request for dismissal to officially dismiss the case.
Terms of the proposed settlement haven't been revealed.
Gene previously denied any wrongdoing in the matter.
"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," he said last December.
The lawsuit against Gene came less than a month after it was reported that he had received a lifetime ban from Fox News for crashing a staff meeting and allegedly indulging in some bizarre behavior. He later denied the allegations, telling BBC "Hardtalk" that "somebody [at Fox] apparently had the goods in for me and called The Daily Beast or something and said whatever they said I did. I did nothing. I always had people around me. Like when I come here, I've got handlers and everybody sees what I'm doing. You can't go into a public area and do anything."
Simmons went on to talk about the pitfalls of social media at times only spotlighting one side of a story: "Nobody calls you and says, 'Do you have a comment?' So the story was printed, and, of course, everybody exploded. And Fox, they're nice people — I like them a lot — closed ranks and they're afraid of getting sued by everybody. Nothing happened. I stand by every word."
Photo credit: Mark Weiss