The Killers’ Brandon Flowers says “you’re safe and respected” at his band’s shows.
A day after getting caught on video kicking a photographer at a KROQ Acoustic Christmas show on Saturday night (Dec. 9), Queens of the Stone Age singer Josh Homme issued a second, tearful video apology on Sunday (Dec. 10) for his actions. Speak into the camera, his eyes red-rimmed and seemingly on the verge of tears, Homme said, “I don’t have any excuse or reason to justify what I did. I was a total dick and I’m truly sorry and I hope you’re okay.”
At the top of the two-minute video Homme described kicking photographer Chelsea Lauren’s camera, naming the victim and personally apologizing to her. “I”ve made a lot of mistakes in my life and last night was definitely one of them,” Homme continued. “I apologize for that to you. I want to be a good man but I think last night I definitely failed at that. That means I failed my family and my friends as well. I don’t want them to ever be ashamed or embarrassed about being around me or knowing me.” Homme went on to apologize to his bandmates, his parents, his wife, his brother and children.
Staring off into the distance, Homme added, “I’m gonna have to figure out some stuff I think… cuz rock n’ roll’s a wonderful thing. It’s supposed to save and help people, not mess them up.” Homme ended by expressing his hope that Lauren is okay and adding that he understands she has to do what she has to do. The 6′ 4″ singer had previously issued a written apology in which he claimed to have kicked Lauren’s camera while being “lost in the performance,” saying it happened while he was kicking over “various lighting and equipment on our stage.”
— QOTSA (@qotsa) December 11, 2017
Shutterstock photographer Lauren posted a video of the incident on Instgram, in which it appears Homme walks by her while playing guitar, then turns around and comes back, kicking her camera as he crosses the stage. Lauren appeared to fall down after the contact and later tweeted that she had to spend the night in the ER. She told Variety: “Josh was coming over and I was pretty excited. 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.”
According to Variety, Homme appeared to be acting erratically during the show, later taking out a knife and cutting his forehead, calling the crowd “retards” and shouting out “Fuck Muse!,” about the British band headlining the show. Later on Sunday, Lauren said on Instagram that she was out of the hospital but suffering from a sore neck, bruised eyebrow and nausea. “Assault in any form is not okay, no matter what the reasoning,” she wrote. “I was where I was allowed to be, I was not breaking any rules. I was simply doing my job. I hold nobody accountable for this but Josh himself.” Lauren told Variety that she planned to file a police report on the incident. Autograph collector Jason Leckrone sued Homme for assault in 2016 after he alleged that the singer grabbed him by the neck during a show at Detroit’s Fox Theater.
Sunday night’s Acoustic Christmas headliners The Killers (who subbed in for a missing Morrissey), paid tribute to the photographers working the show by bringing their photog, Rob Loud, onto the stage during the gig for a hug. When Loud initially demurred, Yahoo! reported that singer Brandon Flowers promised, “I’m not going to kick you in the face.” After hugging Loud, Flowers said, “I just want to tell you to tell all of your friends that you’re welcome here, and at any Killers concert, you’re safe and you’re respected.”
Flowers dedicated the next song after that to all the photographers at the show, saying, “They make us look good! We need to take care of these people.”