A woman filing as "Jane Doe" in Los Angeles Superior Court is suing the Kiss bassist for making "aggressive, unwanted sexual advances" toward her during an on-camera interview in November.
In the suit, as reported by the San Bernadino Sun, a radio host who wishes to remain anonymous claims that Simmons made these advances during an interview at the Highland, CA location of Rock & Brews, a restaurant he co-founded with bandmate Paul Stanley. Stanley, the radio's crew, and the woman's co-host were all present during the sit-down, which took place in a green room.
"Soon after the interview commenced, defendant Simmons reached over and grabbed plaintiff Doe's hand and, forcefully, placed it on his knee and held it on his knee," the suit states.
Doe continued the interview despite feeling uncomfortable,the suit states, and Simmons allegedly grabbed her hand two more times and "commented with a cooing sound" about how soft it was. He also reportedly turned her interview questions into sexual innuendos.
"Shortly after, defendant Simmons abruptly reached over to plaintiff Doe and forcibly flicked/struck plaintiff Doe in the middle of her throat," the suit says. He gave an "incoherent" reason for this action, and Doe terminated the interview. She still agreed to pose for a group promotional photo after this, during which Simmons allegedly reached out and touched her butt.
Though this was all allegedly caught on camera, Simmons is denying any wrongdoing.
"I intend to defend myself against any alleged charges you may have been reading about in the media," he said in a statement sent to Ultimate Classic Rock. "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. I am conferring with my lawyers with the aim of vigorously countering these allegations. And, I look forward to my day in court where the evidence will prove my innocence."
This would not be the first time Simmons has been accused of boorish behavior. Last month, Fox News banned him from the network after he reportedly walked into a staff meeting, unbuttoned his shirt, and yelled, "Hey chicks, sue me," according to The Daily Beast.
Actress Mary McGlynn also tweeted in November that when she met Simmons in a studio and went to shake his hand, he pointed to his penis and said, "That's the fun machine."
Simmons has been making innuendos to interviewers for decades. In his infamous interview on the public radio show Fresh Air in 2002, he repeatedly made these attacks on host Terry Gross.
"The notion is that if you want to welcome me with open arms, I'm afraid you're also going to have to welcome me with open legs," he said.
"That's a really obnoxious thing to say," Gross replied.
"No, it's not, it's being — why should I say something behind your back that I can't tell you to your face?"
A lawyer for Jane Doe explained that her lawsuit sends a message that Simmons' actions are "unacceptable."
"My client is embarrassed and humiliated by the incident with Mr. Simmons,” attorney Willie W. Williams told the San Bernadino Sun on Friday. “She filed suit because she wanted to make a strong statement that this behavior is unacceptable, and she wants to see an end to this type of behavior.”
If you have experienced sexual violence and are in need of crisis support, please call the RAINN Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).
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