Disturbing footage has emerged from Saturday’s KROQ Almost Acoustic Christmas festivities in Inglewood. The crowd-shot video features Queens of the Stone Age frontman Josh Homme kicking a photographer in the face mid-performance.
The Instagram video of the incident doesn’t arrive with any clear visual explanation as to what happened to prompt Homme to make the effort to stretch his leg out and try to take out the camera and the cameraperson herself. Variety spoke with the photographer, Chelsea Lauren, who says Homme’s kick was intentional and that the rock vet was even smiling before the kick.
“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,” she said. “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.” Eventually she returned to the press room, where a rep from KROQ in the press room received a text from an audience member asking, “Did the guitarist for Queens Of The Stone Age kick a photographer in the face?”
On Sunday, Lauren provided additional thoughts on Instagram. She stresses that she strictly holds Homme accountable for the kick and no one from Queens of the Stone Age has reached out to her following Homme’s actions. She was released from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center earlier that morning.
“Here are three images. Two of them as Josh looked at me, smiled and then kicked me.
The other one is later after he cut his own face with a knife. I was in the pit in tears – and he just stared at me smiling.
“Assault in any form is not okay, no matter what the reasoning. Alcohol and drugs are no excuse. I was where I was allowed to be, I was not breaking any rules. I was simply trying to do my job.”
Lauren indicated to Variety that she intends to file a police report regarding the incident.