Josh Homme, frontman of Queens of the Stone Age, has responded to a female photographer who says he intentionally kicked her in the face during the band’s performance at KROQ’s annual holiday concert in Los Angeles Saturday night (Nov. 9).
Shutterstock photographer Chelsea Lauren posted a video of the incident on Instagram in which Homme walks past her, turns back and then kicks in the direction of her camera and head. She appears to fall down upon impact.
“Thanks to @joshhomme @queensofthestoneage I now get to spend my night in the ER. Seriously, WHO DOES THAT?!” Lauren wrote later that night.
Lauren described the moment 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.”
Variety also reports that Homme’s behavior seemed erratic throughout the show: at one point, he took out what appeared to be a knife and cut his own forehead, and at another point he allegedly called the crowd “retards” and exclaimed “Fuck Muse!” (Muse was headlining). He also reportedly told the audience to boo him and take their pants off.
On Sunday, Homme issued a statement via social media: “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 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.”
— QOTSA (@qotsa) December 10, 2017
Lauren gave update on her status on Sunday with another Instagram post, saying she was released by a doctor but has a sore neck, bruised eyebrow and nausea.
“Assault in any form is not okay, no matter what the reasoning,” she said. “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.”
She planned to file a police report on Sunday.
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. #queensofthestoneage #QOTSA #JoshHomme