Gene Simmons: Collateral damage of #MeToo is heinous

Simmons thinks the 'collateral damage' of the Me Too and Time's Up movements is heinous.

FILE: Gene Simmons. Picture: @genesimmons/Twitter

TORONTO - Despite admitting the Time's Up and #MeToo movements are "wonderful" to help put an end to "bad guys" committing sexual violence, Gene Simmons believes the "collateral damage" of the campaigns is "heinous".

The KISS frontman believes it is "wonderful" that women are using such movements - which are campaigning for the end of sexual violence - to put an end to "bad guys" committing such crimes, but he believes claimants should go through court, insisting someone's life can be "ruined" if they are wrongly accused.

He said: "I think it's wonderful for women to be engaged in the conversation and the positive side is there have been a lot of bad guys who have gotten away with it [and aren't anymore] - that's a good thing.

"The collateral damage is heinous because anybody can say anything and there's no presumption of innocence. That's the problem. The problem is you don't have your day in court."

"As soon as somebody cries and the mascara runs, the guy's life is ruined and it's over. He may be guilty or he may be innocent but what happened to our justice system? You'll make more money. You'll embarrass him everyday. Instead of in a news conference which gets you no money. I'm totally in support of anything and everything that follows the rule of law. Get a lawyer. Do it legitimately."

The 68-year-old singer believes there will be many more accusations made against stars "for a while".

Speaking at a Toronto press event this week, he is quoted by the Toronto Sun newspaper as saying: "Let me put it bluntly. I think the s**tstorm is going to be here for a while and the pendulum will finally get to reality after.

"Right now it's in the extreme. But I'm the last guy to understand any of this stuff.

"My opinion is laws are good. And the more lawful of a society we are the better off we'll be."

Earlier this week, Jessica Chastain - who is a supporter of #MeToo and Time's Up - called for men to set up their own movement to highlight mental health issues.

She said: "I think, men also suffer a lot, because of the circumstances we live in ... Worldwide, the suicidal rate among men is much higher than that among women. No one talks about that.

"That's ultimately linked to our idea of the sexes, which only allows a strong man, but none that shows his feelings ... Of course, a man can be ambitious or whatever he wants to be.

"But he needs to be able to handle his own feelings competently. That's something I long for and it's the kind of character I encounter in my life again and again: men, who express their feelings openly."