Entertainment & Arts

Kiss star Gene Simmons sorry for depression remarks

Gene Simmons Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Kiss, who are known for their theatrical costumes and performances, have been going for 40 years

Rock star Gene Simmons has apologised for "spur of the moment" remarks about people who suffer from depression.

The Kiss singer and bassist sparked outrage after saying he is "the guy who says 'Jump'" to those who are suicidal.

In a Facebook message, he wrote: "I was wrong and in the spur of the moment made remarks that in hindsight were made without regard for those who truly suffer the struggles of depression.

"I sincerely apologise to those who were offended by my comments."

He continued: "I recognise 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."

'I never understand'

His apology follows an interview posted on the SongFacts.com website, in which the theatrical rocker was quoted as saying he did not understand people who were depressed.

"My mother was in a concentration camp in Nazi Germany," he said. "I don't want to hear... about 'the world as a harsh place'. She gets up every day, smells the roses and loves life."

Using the example of a hypothetical "putz" who is 20 years old and lives in Seattle and says they are depressed, the outspoken star said his advice would be to "kill yourself".

He went on: "I never understand, because I always call them on their bluff. 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 any more, I'm going to jump.'"

The interview was posted on 31 July, before the death of comedian Robin Williams, who took his own life after struggling with depression and the early stages of Parkinson's disease.

But Simmons' comments have been criticised in the wake of Williams' death, which has led to calls for a greater public understanding of the condition.

Several radio stations banned the rock band's music in the wake of his comments, according to Fox News.

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