Rock star Gene Simmons caused a stir Wednesday at Fox News, harassing staffers after taping interviews that resulted in him being banned from the network and its New York headquarters.
The Kiss bassist, who has appeared multiple times on the network, was a guest Wednesday on Fox and Friends as well as Fox Business Network's Mornings With Maria to promote his new book, On Power.
"I'm a powerful and attractive man and what I'm about to say is deadly serious," Simmons told Maria Bartiromo in response to a question on sexual misconduct in Hollywood. "Men are jackasses. And from the time we're young, we have testosterone. I'm not validating it or defending it. Guys need to be trained from their very, very young ages from their mothers and their loved ones that half the world's population are female, and they need to be treated with respect."
Simmons' appearance on Fox and Friends was more lighthearted, where he jumped at a chance to deliver the weather report.
But behind the scenes, Simmons turned his antics on women staffers — barging into a staff meeting on the building's 14th floor where he was conducting an interview and shouting, "Hey chicks, sue me!" while pulling open his shirt, the Daily Beast reported. Simmons then struck two staff members on the head with his book and insulted their intelligence.
A source confirmed the account to BuzzFeed News. Simmons also asked an employee, who is black, if he was Al Roker, the source said.
In response, Simmons was banned from the building, a network spokesperson said, and he will no longer appear on Fox News or Fox Business channels.
On Friday, Simmons said in a statement that he respected the men and women of Fox News and he did not intend to offend anyone.
"I have appeared frequently over the years on various Fox News and Fox Business programs and have a tremendous amount of respect for the talented women and men who work there," he said. "While I believe that what is being reported is highly exaggerated and misleading, I am sincerely sorry that I unintentionally offended members of the Fox team during my visit."
Claudia Koerner is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Los Angeles.
Contact Claudia Koerner at email@example.com.
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