Runaways' Jackie Fox Says She Was Raped By Manager Kim Fowley in 1975
UPDATE: Joan Jett released this statement about Jackie Fox's interview after this story was published: "Anyone who truly knows me understands that if I was aware of a friend or bandmate being violated, I would not stand by while it happened. For a group of young teenagers thrust into 70s rock stardom there were relationships that were bizarre, but I was not aware of this incident. Obviously Jackie’s story is extremely upsetting and although we haven’t spoken in decades, I wish her peace and healing."
Though rampant sexism still exists in the music industry, it is often riveting -- and therefore absolutely essential -- to read first-hand accounts of what occurred in decades prior, when conditions were often far worse. Jackie Fuchs, who played bass in the Runaways as Jackie Fox from 1975 to 1977, gave one such account to Huffington Post.
Fox, along with a myriad other voices from the ‘70s L.A. rock scene, testified on the actions of Kim Fowley who managed and produced for the all-female rock act. The narrative centers on the night of New Year’s Eve 1975, when she says she was raped by Fowley, after a roadie insisted she take a Quaalude pill.
“I remember opening my eyes, Kim Fowley was raping me, and there were people watching me,” Fox told Huffington Post. The eyes watching included those of guitarist-vocalist Joan Jett, Fox said. Prior to that, multiple witnesses said they saw Fowley penetrate Fox with the handle of a hairbrush. Throughout the incident, Fox recounts being largely sedated by the Quaalude, and unable to resist.
Fox’s friends Helen Roessler and Trudie Arguelles and a teenaged songwriter named Kari Krome also witnessed the alleged rape occur.
Victory Tischler-Blue, who replaced Fox after she quit the band a year later, said the other band members would often joke about the incident. "They would talk about Kim f----ng Jackie like a dog,” she said. “It was kind of a running joke."
Fowley died of bladder cancer in Jan. 2015, and towards the end of his life, he rejected Fox’s efforts to confront him over the incident.
Fox went on to graduate UCLA with honors and later earned a diploma from Harvard Law School, where she studied alongside Barack Obama. Billboard has reached out to her for further comment.
Billboard also reached out to a rep for Jett, who replied, “Joan Jett never saw any incident as described, so we will refer all questions back to Jackie as she can speak for herself on the matter.”
Aside from the events of that New Year's Eve, the story contains a multitude of accounts exposing the abusive, sexist behavior of Fowley. The complete text is available here.