Josh Homme, the frontman for Queens of the Stone Age, issued an apology on Sunday for kicking Chelsea Lauren, a photographer with Shutterstock, in the face during a performance. The incident took place on Saturday, and Homme’s actions were captured on video by other concertgoers. Lauren asserts Homme wasn’t provoked into kicking her, but that his act was “intentional.”
Lauren was attending the band’s performance during the annual holiday festival held by Los Angeles radio station KROQ. During the show, she was working for Shutterstock, which has a licensing partnership with Penske Media, the owner of Variety.
In the video, Homme, 44, is strolling across the stage while playing guitar, and Lauren can be seen in the crowd, holding a camera up to capture the action.
Homme initially passes Lauren, then turns to head back in her direction. While moving across the stage, he swings his leg out, kicking Lauren’s camera into her face.
Homme released a statement on Sunday, claiming the incident was an accident. He stated, “Last night, while in a state of being lost in performance, I kicked over various lighting and equipment on stage. Homme continued, “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,” Homme said. “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.”
After being kicked, Lauren initially returned to the press room, though went back out to capture images of two other bands, Thirty Seconds to Mars and Muse, who were performing later in the night.
Once the concert was over, Lauren went to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center for treatment.
In a post on Instagram, Lauren stated, “My neck is sore, my eyebrow bruised and I’m a bit nauseous.”
She also shared her appreciation for the outpouring of support she received as asserted she holds “nobody accountable for this but Josh himself.”
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
It is unknown whether Homme was under the influence of drugs or alcohol during the performance but, as reported by NBC News, he exhibited other somewhat bizarre behavior, including referring to the audience as “retards,” insulting Muse, the headlining act, encouraging the crowd to boo him, and telling concertgoers to take off their pants.