‘I’ve been an arrogant, sexist pig’
HE CLAIMS to have slept with more than 5000 women, but rocker Gene Simmons isn't proud of this statistic, admitting he has been an "arrogant sexist pig".
While famous for his flamboyant onstage persona, the KISS frontman, 68, has courted controversy for his behaviour during interviews with female journalists.
News Corp Australia's national music writer Kathy McCabe wrote for The Daily Telegraph last year about how she walked out of an interview with Simmons during the 1990s.
McCabe said Simmons gave sexually inappropriate answers, such as: "I love coming to Australia because all the women have big tits and big asses."
Appearing on Andrew Denton's Interview on Tuesday night, Simmons said he "was completely wrong" for behaving that way.
"But you also have to recognise - and this is not a defence, just an observation - it was a different time," Simmons said.
"So there's no excuse for that kind of language, but it was also a different time … the more arrogant and sexist you were the cooler you were to your fans."
Only with hindsight had he realised his behaviour had been "ethically and morally just wrong", Simmons argued.
"I've made lots of mistakes you've got to move on and be better. It's time all of us woke up - and I'll be the first to one to admit I've been an arrogant sexist pig," he told Denton.
Despite Simmons' mea culpa, neither he or Denton addressed the lawsuit filed against the rocker late last year by a US radio host.
The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, alleges Simmons answered standard questions with "sexual innuendos" and touched her inappropriately during the interview - claims which he denies, Rolling Stone reported.
Simmons told Denton he felt driven to womanising because he didn't want to be like his dad.
"My father ran out on myself and my mother when I was about six or seven, and I didn't want to become my father," he said.
"I didn't want to get married, have children and walk out. And I also had ambitions far beyond playing guitar in a band and all that."
Acknowledging his infidelity, Simmons described his partner of almost three decades Shannon Tweed as "my Jesus".
"For 29 years I did what you can imagine guys in bands do and it's interesting how arrogance - interesting is not the word - I hurt my family, I hurt my kids, my mother was not fond of it," Simmons said.
"And yet when you are in the middle of this kind of gorging, hedonistic lifestyle - no drugs, no alcohol, no cigarettes - but in other ways your mind is on crack.
"It doesn't mean anything, you wake up the next morning and you just move on."
Interview continues next Tuesday at 8.45pm on Channel 7