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Queens of the Stone Age frontman Josh Homme was caught on video Saturday night deliberately kicking a female photographer in the face at KROQ’s annual holiday concert in Inglewood.
“It was obviously very intentional,” the photographer, Chelsea Lauren, told Variety. Lauren said the attack was unprovoked and that Homme was smiling before he struck her.
Homme released a statement Sunday afternoon to press and on the band’s social-media accounts:
“I did not mean for that to happen and I am very sorry,” the statement partly read. “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.”
The incident took place during the band’s performance at the L.A. radio station’s 28th Almost Acoustic Christmas event. In a video captured opposite the stage from Lauren, Homme, 44, can be seen walking past Lauren and kicking at her camera with enough force to strike her face.
“Josh was coming over and I was pretty excited,” Lauren told Variety. “I've never actually photographed Queens of the Stone Age before. I was really looking forward to it.
“The next thing I know his foot connects with my camera and my camera connects with my face, really hard,” she added. “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 observed that after he kicked her, Homme took out what appeared to be a knife and deliberately cut his own forehead, a stunt wrestlers refer to as “blading.” Homme dripped blood down his face for the rest of the performance.
According to Variety, at one point Homme called the audience “retards” before inexplicably insulting fellow band Muse. He also encouraged the crowd to boo him and told everyone to take off their pants. “I want to give you all a night you’ll never remember,” he said.
After leaving briefly to go to the press room, Lauren returned to the pit to shoot Thirty Seconds to Mars and Muse before heading to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center for treatment. She plans to file a police report Sunday.
“I feel like if I don’t do anything, he gets to kick people in the face and not get in trouble because he’s a musician,” she said. “That’s not right.”
2:05 p.m.: This story was updated with a statement from Homme. Story was originally published at 1:53 p.m.