Queens of the Stone Age frontman Josh Homme allegedly kicked a female photographer in the face during the first show of the annual KROQ Almost Acoustic Christmas concert in Los Angeles. The shocking incident occurred during the band’s performance at the L.A. radio station’s 28th annual holiday concert, according to Spin.
In an incident that was caught on video, Josh Homme appears to purposely kick the camera away from Shutterstock photographer Chelsea Lauren as he plays the guitar during the fourth song of the band’s set, “The Evil Has Landed.”
In an interview with Variety, Lauren said the kick was “very intentional” and that the 44-year-old singer even smiled before he did it. In the video, Homme can be seen walking past Lauren as he plays the guitar, then backtracking one step to kick away her camera, which in turn hits her face.
Lauren said she had been excited to photograph Queens of the Stone Age so she was “shooting away” as Josh Homme came towards her.
“The next thing I know his foot connects with my camera and my camera connects with my face, really hard,” the photographer told Variety.
“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.”
Lauren temporarily retreated to the press room, then returned to the pit to photograph the bands Thirty Seconds to Mars and Muse. She later checked in to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center for treatment.
Chelsea Lauren, who now says she plans to press charges against Homme, posted a video of the shocking incident to Instagram, captioning it, “Thanks to @joshomme@queensofthestoneage I now get to spend my night in the ER. Seriously, WHO DOES THAT?!?”
In a post on her Facebook page, Lauren revealed that “were no restrictions for photography” for Queens of the Stone Age during the show.
“He was just being a drunk horrible human being,” she wrote of Josh Homme.
Josh Homme’s erratic behavior during the Queens of the Stone Age KROQ show also included cutting his own forehead with a knife and antagonizing his audience, as well as the show’s headlining act, Muse. Homme reportedly told the crowd, “F**k Muse!”
Backlash against Josh Homme was immediate as outraged music fans took to social media to slam him for the alleged violent act.
This is shocking and totally unacceptable. No one should have to worry about a band member kicking them in the face while doing their job. https://t.co/GB96jzmN7G
— Sarah Midkiff (@sarahlmidkiff) December 10, 2017
josh homme, yet another old white man who thinks hitting women is "rock n roll"
— juli (@globalvst) December 10, 2017
I always thought Josh Homme was a decent guy after he fired Nick Oliveri for domestic violence. But he’s got no qualms about kicking a woman in the head himself.
— Dan CoopEUr (@danielwcooper) December 10, 2017
In a statement posted to Queens of the Stone Age Facebook page, Homme denied any intentional harm to the photographer, revealing he was “lost” in his performance.
“Last night, while in a state of being lost in performance, I kicked over various lighting and equipment on our stage,” Homme wrote. “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.”
Queens of the Stone Age formed in 1996 in Palm Desert, California. In addition to frontman and founder Josh Homme, the band includes guitarist Troy Van Leeuwen, bassist Michael Shuman, keyboardist Dean Fertita, and drummer Jon Theodore.