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11th December 2017

josh homme

Queens Of The Stone Age frontman Josh Homme kicked a female photographer in the face while the band were performing at the KROQ Acoustic Christmas on Saturday, the LA radio station's 28th annual holiday concert.

The photographer, Chelsea Lauren, told Variety that the incident was unprovoked and that Homme was even smiling before he struck her. She said:

"It was obviously very intentional."

Homme released a statement on Sunday which read:

"Last night, while in a state of being lost in performance, I kicked over various lighting and equipment on our stage. Today it was brought to my attention that this included a camera held by photographer Chelsea Lauren. I did not mean for that to happen and I am very sorry. I would never intentionally cause harm to anyone working at or attending one of our shows and I hope Chelsea will accept my sincere apology."

Here is some video of the incident:

Chelsea Lauren relayed what happened to Variety:

"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. 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."

josh homme

She returned to the press room a little later where a rep from KROQ received a text from an audience member asking, "Did the guitarist for Queens Of The Stone Age kick a photographer in the face?"

Lauren returned to the photo pit to shoot Thirty Seconds To Mars and Muse, but went for treatment later that night at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. She is being encouraged to press charges and was planning to file a police report on Sunday.

"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,” she said. "That's not right."

Minutes after the incident, Lauren said Homme took out what appeared to be a knife and deliberately cut his own forehead, dripping blood for the rest of the performance.

Homme, 44 years-old, also called the sold-out audience "retards" before insulting the headlining act, Muse.

"Fuck Muse!" he exclaimed. He also encouraged the crowd to boo him and told everyone to take their pants off, saying, "I want to give you all a night you'll never remember."

Lauren posted an update on Instagram on Sunday afternoon that reads:

"Thank you everyone that has reached out with supportive messages. A small update, as I'm being flooded with questions:

"My neck is a sore, my eyebrow bruised and I'm a bit nauseous. The doctor released me early in the morning. Here are three images. Two of them as Josh looked at me, smiled and then kicked me. The other one is later after he cut his own face with a knife. I was in the pit in tears - and he just stared at me smiling.

"Assault in any form is not okay, no matter what the reasoning. 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. I hold nobody accountable for this but Josh himself. KROQ has nothing to do with this and I will always support them.

"The irony is someone had thrown an ice cube on to the very slick catwalk before the QOTSA set. I was afraid that one of the band members might slip and hurt themselves so, when the lights went dark, I used my arm to wipe down the runway so nobody would hurt themselves.

"Thank you to @variety for their immediate concern and care with this matter. As of now, nobody from QOTSA has reached out to me."

Homme's friend, celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain, branded the frontman's apology as "weak". Brandon Flowers, who also performed with The Killers at the same event, later brought another photographer onstage in reference to the incident, saying:

"You're welcome here. At any Killers concert you're safe and respected... they make us look good, we need to take care of these people."

Homme later released a video apology where he admitted he was a "total dick".

"Last night at a Queens Of The Stone Age performance, I kicked the camera of a photographer and that camera hit the photographer in the face. The photographer's name was Chelsea Lauren.

"I'd just like to apologise to Chelsea Lauren. I don't have any excuse or reason to justify what I did. I was a total dick and I'm sorry and I hope you're OK.

"I've made a lot of mistakes in my life and last night was definitely one of them. I apologise for that, and to you. I want to be a good man, but I think last night I definitely failed at that. This means I failed my friends and family as well. I don't want them to ever be ashamed or embarrassed about being around me or knowing so. So I apologise also to my bandmates and my mum and dad. My wife, my brother and kids.

"Yeah, I'm gonna have to figure out some stuff I think. Because rock and roll's a wonderful thing, but it's supposed to save and help people, not mess them up. So, Chelsea Lauren, I hope you're ok and I'm truly sorry and I understand that you have to do whatever you have to do, I just want you to know that I'm sorry."


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