Rocker Homme under fire for kicking photographer

Los Angeles (AFP) –


Queens of the Stone Age frontman Josh Homme apologized Sunday as he came under fire for kicking a photographer, who said she spent the night in the hospital.

The rock guitarist and vocalist was playing Saturday in Los Angeles at an annual holiday festival of radio station KROQ when video shows him slamming his foot into the face of a photographer in the pit next to the stage.

Chelsea Lauren, who shoots for Shutterstock, an agency that provides stock photos, said she spent the night in the emergency room and Sunday was still suffering a sore neck, a bruise in the eyebrow and nausea.

"Assault in any form is not okay, no matter what the reasoning," she wrote on Instagram.

She speculated that Homme may have been impaired by drugs or alcohol. She posted another picture in which Homme smiled as blood trickled down his face after he stabbed himself in the forehead on stage.

"I was where I was allowed to be, I was not breaking any rules. I was simply trying to do my job," Lauren wrote.

Homme apologized and described the incident as an accident. He said he was a "in a state of being lost in performance" and also kicked equipment.

"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 wrote on Twitter.

His explanation triggered a stream of negative reactions on social media, with some people urging that he face charges.

Homme, 44, known for his rugged, high-powered rock, is a founding member both of Queens of the Stone Age and Eagles of Death Metal, although he was not present in Paris when the latter band's concert was attacked as part of a 2015 assault by supporters of the Islamic State group.

Based in the desert of southeastern California, Homme is also a prolific producer and collaborator, notably working with punk legend Iggy Pop on his latest album.