- Jayme Deerwester USA TODAY
The old adage cautioning against ever meeting one's heroes proved to be true for Kathy McCabe. The reporter for Australia's “Daily Telegraph” — and a longtime fan of KISS — said Gene Simmons' sexist remarks made him the only interview she ever walked out on.
McCabe's personal account of her interaction with Simmons came a day after news that he had been sued by an unnamed California radio host for making unwanted advances and answering questions with sexual innuendos during an on-camera interview at a facility he co-owns, which Simmons has vigorously denied.
McCabe says that despite her careful research, Simmons kept rehashing the same joke during an in-person interview in the 1990s: "I love coming to Australia because all the women have big (breasts) and big (behinds)."
She said the joke was a variation on the same crass remarks Simmons and bandmate Paul Stanley had made during phone interviews over the years.
She added, "(Simmons') verbal harassment tipped me over the edge of professionalism and I responded that as I possessed neither attribute, would he mind answering a question. He laughed at me. I asked two more questions, he gave pretty much the same answer and I told him he had wasted enough of my time."
After leaving, McCabe says the male photographer who'd accompanied her to the Simmons interview confided that he'd "felt like smacking Simmons in the face."
She added, "Since I posted my experiences with him on Facebook earlier today, several men and women have shared their #MeToo moments with Simmons."
She also noted, "The serial pest is due in Australia for a solo tour in February. Considering his relentless and vile disrespect of Australian women, I put him on my list of banned musicians about 15 years ago."
McCabe then issued a challenge to her country's leading immigration officer: "Now it’s over to you, Peter Dutton."
Representatives for Simmons did not immediately respond to USA Today's request for comment.