Jackie Fuchs has accused Kim Fowley of a 1975 rape. Jackie was the bassist of the 1970s all-girl rock back The Runaways, and she was only 16-years-old at the time of the attack. Jackie spoke publicly for the first time about the incident in an interview with the Huffington Post. The new Highline report gave a detailed and inside look at the dark side of the band and its early days.
Jackie was one of five young Los Angeles-based girls that made up the rock band. Joan Jett and Lita Ford went on to have solo careers. Joan Jett continues to play concerts at smaller venues across the country, but back then, she was one of five young girls who were trying to make in a male-dominated music industry.
Jackie Fuchs joined the band after an audition in 1975. Before Kim Fowley discovered her, she had dreams of another life. She was a straight-A student with hopes of attending UCLA, but she was also a misfit looking for a place to fit. She looked on the streets of Hollywood and the Sunset Strip. That is where someone found her. That someone introduced her to Kim Fowley.
— Huffington Post (@HuffingtonPost) July 9, 2015
Within a few months, Jackie’s life changed completely. She became Jackie Fox, and she saw a way to escape. She had never played bass before, but she was willing to try. Fowley forced the other girls in the band to vote Jackie into the band.
“The Runaways represented this freedom. I hated being in the box—’be here at this time, do this at this time, do it this way.’ I just thought it would be better to speak my mind, sleep a little later, hang out and meet rock stars.”
Jackie really had no idea what she was getting herself into once she joined the band. The Highline report details Fowley’s darker side. He liked young girls, and he did not hide it. Fuchs is not the only girl that spoke up about Fowley in the Huffington Post report.
Kari Krome also shared details of Fowley’s assaults on her. She was only 14 during the first incident.
“I didn’t know how to say, ‘I don’t want you to do this. I did not have that voice. … I was also scared of him. He could be really scary. In his mind, he thought he was having a relationship with me, like a romantic relationship. He didn’t care what I thought about it. He just decided.”
Fuchs detailed her own attack, and it was a life-changing experience for her. The attack was also behind her leaving the band.
“On the bed, Fowley played to the crowd, gnashing his teeth and growling like a dog as he raped Jackie. He got up at one point to strut around the room before returning to Jackie’s body. ‘I remember opening my eyes, Kim Fowley was raping me, and there were people watching me,’ Jackie says. She looked out from the bed and noticed Currie and Jett staring at her. She says this was her last memory of the night.”
A representative for Joan Jett has spoken out about the claims made by Fuchs, and the rep denied that Jett was present during the incident. Cherie Currie admitted that she yelled before running out of the room.
Kari Krome was also in the room at the time, and she revealed that Jackie was completely out of it. During the night, she had been given six Quaaludes.
Why is Fuchs sharing her story now? According to Entertainment Weekly, Fuchs came forward with her own story now because of other recent stories in the news in connection to Bill Cosby and Dr. Luke.
These allegations come six months after the death of Kim Fowley. He died in January. In recent years, he hosted a show on Sirius Satellite Radio. The Runaways had their story told in a biopic starring Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning in 2010. Fuchs was not featured in the film because she did not want to sell the rights to her life story.
A biography about the band was released in 2013, but Fowley denied all allegations of sexual conduct with members of the band.
Steven Van Zandt, the guitarist for the E Street Band, spoke about Fowley after his death, according to Gigwise.
“Kim Fowley is a big loss to me. A good friend. One of a kind. He’d been everywhere, done everything, knew everybody. He was working in the Underground Garage [his satellite radio show] until last week. We should all have as full a life.”
As for Joan Jett, she has remained in the music business for 40 years, and she is considered “The Queen of Rock And Roll.” She spoke about the music business in an interview with Biography earlier this year.
“Starting at 15 or 16 years old, it’s definitely going to be a little bit different for me at this point in my life. But to me, music is the one constant. It’s always been there and it’s the thing that’s changed the least in my world. Really, the whole business has changed since I started. A lot of people have a difficult time understanding the landscape as it was when I was starting out. If you’re talking to a 15-year-old kid now and talk about what it was like when you were 15, it’s sort of a world they could not really recognize.”
Joan Jett is currently touring casinos and other small venues.
UPDATE: Joan Jett has also released her own statement about Fuchs’ allegations to Yahoo Music.
“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.”
What do you think of Jackie Fuchs’ accusations? Were you a fan of The Runaways?
[Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images]