KISS bassist/vocalist Gene Simmons has posted the following message on his Facebook page:
"Depression is very serious and very sad when it happens to anyone, especially loved ones.
"I have not commented on various allegations made in the media, but I want to make this statement for the record and to clarify.
"I deeply support and am empathetic to anyone suffering from any disease, especially depression.
"I have never sugarcoated my feelings regarding drug use and alcoholics.
"Somewhere along the line, my intentions in speaking very directly and perhaps politically incorrectly about drug use and alcoholics have been misconstrued as vile commentary on depression.
"Unkind statements about depression was certainly never my intention.
"And I do not intend to defend myself here and now by listing the myriad charities and self-help organizations I am involved with.
"This is not about me. This is about clearing up misconceptions and being clear. My heart goes out to anyone suffering from depression."
In an interview that Simmons gave to SongFacts.com late last month, he was asked if he still got along with original KISS members Ace Frehley and Peter Criss. He replied: "I don't get along with anybody who's a drug addict and has a dark cloud over their head and sees themselves as a victim.
"Drug addicts and alcoholics are always: 'The world is a harsh place.' My mother was in a concentration camp in Nazi Germany. I don't want to hear fuck-all about 'the world is a harsh place.' She gets up every day, smells the roses and loves life. And for a putz, 20-year-old kid to say, 'I'm depressed, I live in Seattle.' Fuck you, then kill yourself.
"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 anymore, I'm going to jump.'
"Are you kidding? Why are you announcing it? Shut the fuck up, have some dignity and jump! You've got the crowd.
"By the way, you walk up to the same guy on a ledge who threatens to jump and put a gun to his head, 'I'm going to blow your fuckin' head off!' He'll go, 'Please don't!' It's true. He's not that insane."
Simmons has since been widely criticized for his comments by a number of fans and fellow musicians, including MÖTLEY CRÜE bassist Nikki Sixx, who said: "Gene is basically saying he has no sympathy for drug addicts or people who are depressed. I'm a recovering drug addict. If I had done what Gene Simmons said and that is to jump, so many wonderful things would have not happened in my life…. I like Gene, but in this situation, I don't like Gene. I don't like Gene's words, because … there is a 20-year-old kid out there who is a KISS fan and reads this and goes, 'You know what? He's right. I should just kill myself.'"