“I apologize. I have a long history of getting very angry at what drugs do to the families/friends of the addicts,” the Kiss frontman said. “I get angry at drug users because of my experience being around them coming up in the rock scene.”
Although Simmons praised the late singer, saying he was “heads, hands and feet above the rest of them,” he did not bite his tongue when it came to his thoughts on the Purple One’s death.
“I think he left [Michael] Jackson in the dust. But how pathetic that he killed himself,” Simmons told Newsweek. “Don’t kid yourself, that’s what he did. Slowly, I’ll grant you, but that’s what drugs and alcohol is: a slow death.”
Simmons said his exposure to drugs growing up in the rock scene made his life “difficult.”
“I was raised in a culture/crowd where drug addicts were written off as losers, and since that’s the narrative I grew up with, it’s been hard to change with the times, said Simmons.”
“Needless to say, I didn’t express myself properly here. I don’t shy away from controversy, and angry critics really don’t bother me at all,” he continued. “If I think I’m right, I’ll throw up a finger and dig my heels in and laugh. But this time, I was not.”
Read Simmons’ full apology below.