Queens Of The Stone Age Frontman Kicks Female Photographer In The Head At A Show

Photo: Scott Dudelson/WireImage/Getty Images.
During Queens Of The Stone Age's set at KROQ Acoustic Christmas, frontman Josh Homme reportedly kicked photographer Chelsea Lauren in the head, resulting in an overnight trip to the emergency room.
A video was taken which documents the moment. You can see Homme approaching the side of the stage from which she was shooting, he passes her, and as he walks back you see him turn back and kick her camera, which then hits her in the face.
"Josh was coming over and I was pretty excited, I’ve never actually photographed Queens Of The Stone Age before, I was really looking forward to it. I saw him coming over and I was shooting away," she said recounting the incident in an interview with Variety. "The next thing I know his foot connects with my camera and my camera connects with my face, really hard. He looked straight at me, swung his leg back pretty hard and full-blown kicked me in the face. He continued performing, I was startled, I kind of stopped looking at him, I just got down and was holding my face because it hurt so badly."
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Lauren returned to the photo pit to shoot Thirty Seconds To Mars and Muse before seeking treatment at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, reports Variety.
As a music photographer myself, I can say that I've seen and heard my fair share of unacceptable behavior toward photographers. And it's often exponentially more frequent for female photographers. Whether it's from management, bands, venue staff, fellow photographers, or the fans attending the show, it is unacceptable. "Assault in any form is not okay, no matter what the reasoning," Lauren writes on her Instagram. "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."
Whether it's the music industry or any other, it should be a priority to create a space where people feel safe and able to do their job. Your physical wellbeing should not be at risk at work. Lauren made it clear that she in no way holds the host of the show, southern California-based radio station KROQ, accountable for what happened. "I hold nobody accountable for this but Josh himself. KROQ has nothing to do with this and I will always support them," wrote Lauren in the caption of a series of photos taken during the moment Homme kicked her. They show Homme smiling just seconds before.
Josh Homme issued an apology via his band's Twitter account. "Last night, while in a state of being lost in performance, I kicked over various lighting and equipment on our stage," Homme begins. "Today it was brought to my attention that this included a camera held by photographer Chelsea Lauren."
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His recollection of the incident is vastly different than Lauren's description.
Queens of the Stone Age / Twitter.
Lauren spent the night at the ER being treated for the injuries she sustained, including bruising around her eye and a sore neck. She was released by doctors this morning. "I feel like if I don’t do anything, he gets to kick people in the face and not get in trouble because he’s a musician," asserts the photographer. "That’s not right." Lauren said that as of earlier today, no one from or associated with Queens of the Stone Age has reached out to her. She plans to press charges.
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