Kiss bassist Gene Simmons denies sexual harassment allegations in new lawsuit

PHOTO: Musician Gene Simmons during the Wizard World Chicago Comic-Con at Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, Aug. 26, 2017 in Rosemont, Ill. Barry Brecheisen/Getty Images
Musician Gene Simmons during the Wizard World Chicago Comic-Con at Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, Aug. 26, 2017 in Rosemont, Ill.

Gene Simmons is denying allegations of sexual misconduct after a radio and television broadcaster in California filed suit claiming the Kiss bassist touched her, made unwanted sexual advances and peppered his responses with sexual innuendos during an interview she was conducting at the opening of a Rock & Brews restaurant.

The lawsuit also alleges that Simmons "forcibly flicked/struck" the woman, identified in the suit as Jane Doe, in the throat during the Nov. 1 interview.

The interview at the San Bernardino restaurant ended early due to Simmons' actions, the suit alleges. The woman posed with Simmons for photos after the interview where Simmons allegedly touched her buttocks, the suit claims.

Simmons took to social media on Sunday to deny all of the allegations alleged in the suit.

"Friends, I intend to defend myself against any alleged charges you may have been reading about in the media," he wrote. "For the record, I did not assault the person making these accusations in the manner alleged in the complaint or harm her in any way. I am conferring with my lawyers with the aim of vigorously countering the allegations. And I look forward to my day in court where the evidence will prove my innocence."

According to the suit, the interview took place on a couch in a designated "green room" where Simmons grabbed the woman's hand and "forcefully placed it on his knee and held it on his knee." The lawsuit states that she immediately removed her hand from his knee.

Throughout the interview, the lawsuit states, Simmons "turned standard interview questions into sexual innuendos, which made plaintiff Doe extremely uncomfortable." She claims that he reached for her hand again and, holding it, made a "cooing sound" and said she "must use lotion," accompanied by another sexual innuendo.

The suit, filed Friday in state court in Los Angeles County on behalf of the unnamed plaintiff, names both Simmons and the Rock & Brews restaurant chain that he co-owns. It alleges sexual battery, gender violence, negligent supervision, gender discrimination and negligent infliction of emotional distress, among other causes of action. The plaintiff is seeking unspecified damages.

"My client is embarrassed and humiliated by the incident with Mr. Simmons," the woman's lawyer told The San Bernardino Sun. "She filed suit because she wanted to make a strong statement that this behavior is unacceptable and she wants to see an end to this type of behavior."