A Shutterstock photographer was not expecting a kick in the head when she attended a Queens of the Stone Age concert. But that’s exactly what she got.
Chelsea Lauren was attending the band’s performance on the first night of the L.A. radio station’s annual holiday concert and was standing near the stage. As Josh Homme, the frontman of the band, approached the edge of the stage, the photographer held up her camera to get the perfect shot. However, what she got was a kick, as Homme drew back his leg and aimed it at her. His foot connected with Lauren’s camera, which slammed into her face and she went down clutching her head.
Meanwhile, Homme kept on singing as if nothing had happened.
“It was obviously very intentional,” Lauren told Variety.
"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,” she said.
Lauren returned to the concert to shoot Muse and Thirty Seconds to Mars but afterwards went to Cedars-Senai Medical Center for treatment.
Even after the incident, Homme’s behavior was destructive for the rest of the night. The singer also took out a knife and cut his own forehead, dripping blood on the side of his face for the rest of the performance.
He also yelled “f*** Muse” in reference to the band that was coming next, called the crowd “retards” and told them to take off their pants. He was also captured on camera giving one-finger salutes to the crowd.
It is not clear whether Homme was under the influence of alcohol or drugs. However, even if he was, that is still not an excuse for attacking an innocent person without provocation.
The singer was also sued by an autograph collector for unnecessary aggressive behavior in March. The person alleged Homme grabbed him by the shoulder and said something along the lines of, “I am not signing autographs for you blood sucking eBayers, I am tired of you making money off me but I will take photos with you.”
Homme later issued an apology to Lauren for the recent incident.
“Last night while in a state of being lost in performance, I kicked over various lighting and equipment on our stage. Today it was brought to my attention that this included a camera held by photographer Chelsea Lauren. I did not mean for that to happen and I am very sorry. I would never intentionally cause harm to anyone working at or attending one of our shows and I hope Chelsea will accept my sincere apology,” he said.
However, Lauren posted three images later, two of them which showed Homme intentionally looking down at her, smiling and then delivering the kick.
“My neck is a sore, my eyebrow bruised and I’m a bit nauseous. The doctor released me early in the morning… I was in the pit in tears — and he just stared at me smiling,” said the photographer.
One of the social workers at the hospital who saw the clip pushed her to press charges against Homme.
“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,” the photographer said. “That’s not right.”
Banner/Thumbnail credit: REUTERS, Mario Anzuoni