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Josh Homme Apologizes to Photographer He Kicked in the Face at a Queens of the Stone Age Show

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Queens of the Stone Age frontman Josh Homme kicked a female photographer in the face at a Queens of the Stone Age show in Los Angeles on Saturday night, causing an uproar within the music community. The photographer, Chelsea Lauren, was shooting for Shutterstock when Homme’s foot connected with her camera, which in turn smashed into her face, prompting a visit to the emergency room later that night (but not before we tended to her wounds, then returned to shoot the remaining bands!). The incident was captured on video and certainly looked to be intentional.

Homme has now issued two apologies to Lauren. The first came in the form of a weakly worded written statement via QOTSA’s Instagram account that attempted to explain away Homme’s action as “in a state of being lost in the moment:”

“Last night, while in a state of being lost in performance, I kicked over various lighting and equipment on our stage. 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.”

That statement understandably drew harsh criticism from the online community for its lack of sincerity and attempt to pass off Homme’s actions as part of his rock star act gone awry. Hours later, Homme followed up with a separate video apology which seemed much more sincere and direct. Here’s a transcription of the video:

“Hello, last night at a Queens of the Stone Age performance I kicked the camera of a photographer and that camera hit a photographer in the face and that photographer’s name is Chelsea Lauren. I’d just like to apologize to Chelsea Lauren. 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.

“I want to be a good man but last night I think I definitely failed at that. 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 or knowing me. So I apologize also to my bandmates and my mom and my dad, my wife, my brother and my kids. I’m gonna have to figure out some stuff, I think, because rock ‘n’ roll is a wonderful thing. It’s supposed to save and help people not mess them up. So, Chelsea Lauren, I hope you’re okay and I’m truly sorry. I understand you have to do whatever you have to do, I just want you to know that I’m sorry. Goodnight. Godspeed.”

Much, much better than the initial apology. But… too little, too late? Why didn’t Homme feel the incident deserved a sincere, heartfelt apology the first time — without making excuses — only to be forced into it later by negative backlash?

Lauren, for her part, seems to be handling the incident very professionally. She posted an update of her own, revealing the extent of her injuries (thankfully nothing too serious), although it’s not yet clear whether she’ll press charges:

“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.”

You can take a look at all the original posts, as well as watch Homme’s apology video, below.

A post shared by QOTSA (@queensofthestoneage) on

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

A post shared by Chelsea Lauren (@chelsealaurenla) on

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