Rock and roller Gene Simmons waits to sing the National Anthem before the Oakland Raiders play the San Diego Chargers in Monday Night Football at O.co Coliseum in Oakland, California on September 10, 2012. The Raiders were defeated by the Chargers 22-14. UPI/Terry Schmitt | License Photo
LOS ANGELES, Aug. 19 (UPI) -- Gene Simmons has apologized for his controversial remarks about depression.
The 64-year-old Kiss bassist issued the apology on his Facebook fan page. Simmons used the post "to clarify" his comments after he came under fire last week in the wake of actor Robin Williams' suicide.
In an interview with Songfacts published July 31, nearly two weeks before Williams' death, Simmons declared he no longer gets along with the original members of Kiss or "anybody who's a drug addict and has a dark cloud over their head and sees themselves as a victim."
"Drug addicts and alcoholics are always: 'This world is a harsh place,'" Simmons said. "My mother was in a concentration camp in Nazi Germany. I don't want to hear [expletive] all about 'the world is a harsh place.' She gets up every day, smells the roses and loves life. And for a putz, 20-year-old kid to say, 'I'm depressed, I live in Seattle.' [Expletive] you, then kill yourself."
"I never understand, because I always call them on their bluff," he continued. "I'm the guy who says 'Jump!' when there's a guy on top of a building who says, 'That's it, I can't take it anymore, I'm going to jump.' Are you kidding? Why are you announcing it? Shut the [expletive] up, have some dignity and jump!"
The remarks caused outrage among many fans and celebrities, and Simmons admitted in his apology he made the comments in "the spur of the moment" and without "regard for those who truly suffer the struggles of depression."
"I sincerely apologize to those who were offended by my comments," he wrote. "I recognize that depression is very serious and very sad when it happens to anyone, especially loved ones. I deeply support and am empathetic to anyone suffering from any disease, especially depression."
"Somewhere along the line, my intention of speaking in very directly and perhaps politically incorrectly about drug use and alcoholics has been misconstrued as vile commentary on depression," he continued. "I simply want to be clear that my heart goes out to anyone suffering from depression and I deeply regret any offhand remarks in the heat of an interview that might have suggested otherwise."