KISS‘ Gene Simmons has apologized for comments in a recent Newsweek interview in which he called Prince‘s death pathetic and suggested that the famed entertainer, in effect, killed himself because of alleged drug abuse. In a message posted Tuesday night on his official Twitter feed, Simmons writes, “Needless to say, I didn’t express myself properly here — I don’t shy away from controversy, and angry critics really don’t bother me at all. If I think I’m right, I’ll throw up a finger and dig my heels in and laugh. But this time, I was not. So, my apologies.”
Simmons explains that he decided to issue the apology after getting “such s*** from my family for my big mouth again.” He maintains that his remarks about Prince were colored by the negative experiences he’s had with people who have abused drugs.
“I have a long history of getting very angry at what drugs do to the families/friends of the addicts,” notes the 66-year-old rocker. “I get angry at drug users because of my experience being around them coming up in the rock scene. In my experience they’ve made my life, and the lives of their loves ones, difficult.”
He adds, “I was raised in a culture/crowd where drug addicts were written off as losers, and since that’s the narrative I grew up with, it’s been hard to change with the times.”
In the Newsweek interview, Simmons said of Prince’s death, “[H]ow pathetic that he killed himself. Don’t kid yourself, that’s what he did. Slowly, I’ll grant you…but that’s what drugs and alcohol is: a slow death.”
However, while many media sources have speculated that the artist’s death may have been caused by a possible overdose of prescription painkillers, the cause has not officially been determined.
Simmons closes out his Twitter message by criticizing media members who he claims have depicted some of his past comments in a way that they seem more negative than he intended them to be.
“[T]here is part of this that is journalists quote-mining things I’ve said in the past and applying it to new situations,” he writes. “It’s doesn’t make my past quotes any more tactful, but still — be wary of click bait. The uglier they make it seem, the more views they will get.”
Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.