According to The New York Times, former KISS manager Jesse Hilsen pleaded guilty Monday (Oct. 31) to a federal misdemeanor charge that he failed to pay child support.
Hilsen, 65, has been in prison for the past year and three months awaiting trial on charges that he failed to pay support to his ex-wife, Rita Hilsen, and their two children.
In the 1970s and 80s, Hilsen was a successful Manhattan psychotherapist. He became KISS's manager in 1988 because the band had grown leery of music-industry insiders; Dr. Hilsen was the therapist for Paul Stanley, KISS's frontman.
According to one of the band's former bookkeepers, Deborah Weiss-Otterpohl, who testified at the Hilsens' divorce proceedings, Dr. Hilsen was handsomely paid for managing KISS, taking home as much as $725,000 in 1992 alone. Before the divorce was finalized in 1988, however, he filed for bankruptcy and Ms. Hilsen eventually lost her East Side apartment, moving into a room in a homeless shelter on the Upper West Side.
Dr. Hilsen agreed to pay nearly $162,000 in restitution, according to The Associated Press. The plea to a misdemeanor rather than a felony will enable Hilsen to keep his license to practice child psychiatry and to work off his debt.
KISS leaders Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley were served subpoenas by a private investigator in September 2003 before their performance at Chicago's Tweeter Center in connection with the case.
The purpose of the subpoenas was to determine what, if any, financial ties exist between Hilsen and the band, as well as whether any band members have been in touch with him since he became a fugitive. Hilsen and KISS split in 1992.