Josh Homme, Villain

Queens of the Stone Age guitarist in onstage assault incident

By Gary Graff

Queens of the Stone Age frontman Josh Homme found himself in hot water over the weekend after kicking a female photographer in the head during an annual Christmas concert on Saturday (Dec. 9) in Los Angeles.

Chelsea Lauren posted a video from the KROQ-sponsored show showing Homme walking past her, then turning around and kicking in the direction of Lauren’s head and camera, causing her to fall down. She posted an Instagram photo and message saying: “Thanks to Josh Homme @queensofthestoneage I now get to spend my night in the ER. Seriously, WHO DOES THAT?!?” followed by an assortment of hashtags.

Lauren subsequently told Variety — which reported that Homme’s behavior seemed erratic during the show — that she was shooting as Homme approached her on the stage and “the next thing I know his foot connects with my camera and my camera connects with my face, really hard. 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.”

Homme, meanwhile, issued an apology via social media, saying: “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.”

Lauren posted an update on Sunday (Dec. 10) and posted an update saying: “my neck is 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.”

Lauren planned to file a police report and charges against Homme for the incident.