Queens of the Stone Age's Josh Homme has apologised for kicking photographer Chelsea Lauren in the face during the band's Saturday set at the KROQ Acoustic Christmas concert in Inglewood, California. In a pair of Instagram videos, the musician speaks directly to Lauren, saying, "I was a dick, and I'm truly sorry, and I hope you're OK."
Homme opens the first video by plainly addressing the incident, in which he kicked Lauren's camera, causing her to fall to the ground.
"Last night at a Queens of the Stone Age performance, I kicked the camera of a photographer, and that camera hit the photographer in the face, and the photographer's name was Chelsea Lauren," he says in the clip. "I'd just like to apologize to Chelsea Lauren. I don't have any excuse or reason to justify what I did ... 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 I think last night I definitely failed at that," the guitarist continued. "That means I failed my family and my friends as well," he continued. "I don't want them to ever be ashamed or embarrassed about being around me or knowing me. And so I apologize also to my bandmates, my mom and my dad, my wife, my brother and my kids. I'm gonna have to figure out some stuff, I think, 'cause rock & roll is a wonderful thing. It's supposed to save and help people, not mess them up. So Chelsea Lauren: I hope you're OK, and I'm truly sorry. And I understand you have to do whatever you have to do. I just want you to know that I'm sorry. Goodnight, godspeed."
Lauren, a Shutterstock photographer, detailed the incident to Variety, saying Homme was "obviously very intentional" in kicking her. He smiled beforehand (an act she appeared to capture in a photo posted on Instagram).
"Josh was coming over and I was pretty excited," she said. "I've never actually photographed Queens of the Stone Age before; I was really looking forward to it. I saw him coming over and I was shooting away. 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."
Lauren returned to shoot Thirty Seconds to Mars and Muse, but later received treatment at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. "My neck is sore, my eyebrow bruised and I'm a bit nauseous," she wrote Sunday on Instagram. The photographer also told Variety she planned to file a police report that same day. "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," Lauren added. "That's not right." It is not clear as of this writing whether Lauren plans to press charges.
Homme reportedly exhibited other disturbing behaviour during the show, including cutting his own forehead with what appeared to be a knife, calling the audience "retards" and shouting "Fuck Muse!" in reference to the event's headlining band.