Motley Crue bassist Nikki Sixx ripped Kiss rocker Gene Simmons for dismissing depression as something only weak people suffer from, and telling depressed people, "F**k you, then kill yourself."
Sixx revealed he has suffered from depression and drug addiction, and relates to people with mental illnesses. "I struggled with addiction and depression but found recovery," Nikki tweeted Aug. 13. "Would you be happy if I killed myself instead? Also my four kids wouldn't [have] been born."
Sixx made other comments on his radio show, saying Simmons clearly does not understand the impact his words might have on young fans.
"I like Gene," said Nikki. "But in this situation, I don't like Gene. I don't like Gene's words. 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.'"
Nikki said people suffering from depression shouldn't give up because they can get better with help, just as he did. "For people who are depressed, there is a way out," he said. "There are many, many ways out. Don’t listen to people who don’t know what they’re talking about."
Gene: My Mom Survived Nazi Concentration Camp
Simmons made his bombastic comments during a July 31 interview with Songfacts — two weeks before Robin Williams' tragic Aug. 11 suicide.
Unfortunately, the remarks came to light this week, just days after Williams hanged himself at his California home after struggling with depression throughout his adult life. According to multiple press reports, Robin was distraught after recently being diagnosed with early-stage Parkinson's disease.
During his interview, Simmons expressed frustration with people suffering from depression, saying they need to toughen up. If they can't handle life, they should consider suicide, said Gene, who said his mother survived a Nazi concentration camp, and knows real suffering, so he has no sympathy for people struggling with depression.
Drug addicts and alcoholics are always [saying], 'The world is a harsh place.' My mother was in a concentration camp in Nazi Germany. I don't want to hear f**k all about the world as 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.' F**k you, then kill yourself."
Gene then went further by saying people who threaten to commit suicide are merely bluffing, and those who don't follow through with their attempted suicides are weak.
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 f**k up, have some dignity and jump! You've got the crowd."
Gene has since backtracked on his comments on a Facebook post Aug. 15, clarifying that he does have sympathy for people struggling with depression.
"I deeply support and am empathetic to anyone suffering from any disease, especially depression," he wrote. "I have never sugarcoated my feelings regarding drug use and alcoholics. My heart goes out to anyone suffering from depression."
Robin Williams' untimely death has raised public awareness of depression, as suicide hotlines have reported a huge surge in call volume this week. Williams is not the only celebrity who has battled mental illness.
Catherine Zeta Jones revealed she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and Demi Lovato said she struggled with bipolar disorder, drug addiction and the eating disorders anorexia and bulimia. Both Zeta Jones and Lovato said they got better after undergoing drug and talk therapy.