Gene Simmons can kiss this suit goodbye.
The KISS demon has amicably resolved a defamation lawsuit brought by an ex-girlfriend accusing him of defaming her in the VH1 rockumentary When KISS Ruled the World.
According to a joint statement released by Simmons and Georgeann Walsh Ward, the 55-year-old "Calling Dr. Love" auteur offered a mea culpa to Ward, but did not pay her any money to settle. In return, Ward acknowledged that the tongue-wagging rocker played no role in the production or editing of the special.
The suit, filed in January 2005 in Manhattan Supreme Court, claimed that the juxtaposition of commentary by Simmons talking about his love life with photos of Ward cast her in a false light. The images, Ward asserted in court papers, unfairly portrayed her as a "sexually loose, immoral, unchaste woman."
In Wednesday's resolution, the bassist-vocalist, who initially denied the allegations in the lawsuit, attempted to clarify his remarks in the documentary.
"I value my early relationship with Ms. Ward and wish her well," the musician declared.. "My quotes in the documentary that Ms. Ward took issue with were solely about me, not Ms. Ward or anyone else."
According to her complaint, Ward, a 53-year-old native of Chester, New York, alleged she had an "exclusive, monogamous, romantic relationship" with Simmons when she was a 21-year-old college student and he was living with his mother in Queens--before he shot to fame as the blood-spitting monster-faced member of KISS.
In When KISS Ruled the World, which the cable network aired 11 times between July and August of 2004, the rock 'n' roll playboy (birth name Chaim Klein Witz) boasted about his sexual escapades with more than 4,000 groupies during his heyday with the '70s glam band, known for such hits as "Rock and Roll All Nite," "Detroit Rock City" and "Lick It Up."
"There wasn't a girl that was off-limits and I enjoyed every one of them," Simmons, a self-confessed "24-hour whore," is heard saying in the documentary's voiceover about those "crazy, crazy nights."
In her suit, Ward contended that she suffered shock and embarrassment because of the "wild" photos of her in various poses with Simmons that accompanied his narration. The broadcast, she said, subjected her "to public hatred, shame, contempt, ridicule, ostracism, degradation and/or disgrace."
Even more painful, said Ward, who describes herself a "morally upright and law-abiding woman," was that her father, husband and 21-year-old son were all watching the special with her. The lawsuit sought unspecified damages.
Last November, a New York judge rejected Simmons' motion to dismiss the complaint, allowing it to go forward based on the inference a reasonable person could make from watching the doc that Ward was "one of those women with whom Simmons had a casual sexual liason," and thus may constitute defamation.
With his legal troubles behind him, Simmons can focus on his work. Although KISS is on hiatus, Simmons continues to tend to the group's business ventures, among them opening the first KISS Coffeehouse in Myrtle Beach, North Carolina.
He and singer Paul Stanley turned out, sans make up, for the grand opening last Saturday. Among the flavorful concoctions the coffee shop is serving up are French KISS Vanilla, Demon Dark Roast and Rockuccino.