Queens of the Stone Age frontman Josh Homme kicked a photographer in the head at a Los Angeles concert on Saturday night, sending her to the ER and prompting a stunned reaction from fans. Homme, who has lashed out at fans while on stage before, appeared to glance down at photographer Chelsea Lauren before kicking her while Lauren took photos from beneath a catwalk extending into the crowd at the Inglewood Forum, where Queens of the Stone Age were playing KROQ’s Almost Acoustic Christmas.
Here’s fan-filmed footage of the kick, which Chelsea Lauren shared on her own Instagram account after being taken to the hospital:
Lauren also shared three of her photos from the concert — two of which came immediately before the kick — and added a lengthy update. According to Lauren, the first two photos were taken “as Josh looked at me, smiled and then kicked me.” The third came later, after Homme “cut his own face with a knife” and “jus stared at [Lauren] smiling”:
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
Two hours after Lauren’s posts, Queens’ official Instagram account shared a brief apology. As criticism and disbelief continued to mount, though, the account uploaded a pair of videos of a somber Homme offering a more thorough apology.
According to Homme, his intention was to kick Lauren’s camera, and not Lauren herself. “Last night, at a Queens of the Stone Age performance,” Homme said, “I kicked the camera of a photographer, and that camera hit the photographer in the face, and that photographer’s name is Chelsea Lauren.
“I’d just like to apologize to Chelsea Lauren,” Homme went on. “I don’t have any excuse, or reason, to justify what I did. I was a total dick. And I’m truly sorry, and I hope you’re okay. I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my life, and last night was definitely one of them. And I apologize for that, to you.”
Homme got even more personal and retrospective in the second clip, saying that he doesn’t want friends or family to “ever be ashamed or embarrassed” to know him, and that he’s got to “figure some things out.”
I want to be a good man, but I think last night I definitely failed at that. And that means I failed my family and my friends as well. I don’t want them to ever be ashamed or embarrassed about being around me and knowing me. And so I apologize also to my bandmates, my mom and my dad, my wife and my brother, and my kids. I’m gonna have to figure some things out, I think. ‘Cause rock and roll’s a wonderful thing — it’s supposed to save and help people, not mess ’em up. So, Chelsea Lauren, I hope you’re okay. And I’m truly sorry. And I understand you have to do whatever you have to do. I just want you to know that I’m sorry. Goodnight, and godspeed.
Homme was sentenced to anger management and rehab in 2005 following a fight at a nightclub. Chelsea Lauren has yet to respond to Homme’s apology.
(Photo credit: Josh Homme kicks photographer via WENN)