Dead End Justice: What Went Wrong With The Runaways

Last Friday, the Huffington Post published The Lost Girls, a heart-wrenching piece by Jason Cherkis about Jackie Fuchs‘ traumatic experiences as the first bass player in the legendary all-girl rock ‘n’ roll band the Runaways. Although the band has enjoyed a resurgence in press in recent years, Fuchs (known to fans as Jackie Fox) has mostly stayed out of the spotlight; she never pursued any further career in music and seems to rarely associate with her former bandmates. Now a lawyer, Jackie was the only member of the band who declined to sign away her life rights for the 2010 movie based on the band’s rise to fame.

In the article, she comes forwards with a sickening account of being drugged and raped by the band’s much older manager, notorious sleazeball Kim Fowley. By Fox’s account, the incident took place at a motel party on New Year’s Eve in 1976, in front of a crowd of partygoers — including several of her bandmates. Runaways songwriter Kari Krome corroborates Fox’s story and shares her own horrifying experiences with Fowley; he repeatedly forced himself upon her when she was just 14 years old. Heartbreakingly, Krome also alleges that the other Runaways (particularly singer Cherie Currie and rhythm guitarist Joan Jett) giggled about Fox’s assault and seemed to consider it a running joke.

Jackie Fox

Jackie Fox

Evelyn McDonnell, author of Queens of Noise: The Real Story of the Runaways, interviewed the band at length about the incident while doing research for her book, and explains on her blog that while she takes issue with the Huffington Post’s sensationalism, she does believe that Jackie is telling the truth. In her interviews, Joan Jett claimed to not remember the encounter happening at all, while Kim Fowley stated, “They can talk about it until the cows come home but, in my mind, I didn’t make love to anybody in the Runaways nor did they make love to me.” Kim Fowley can no longer respond to these allegations; he died of bladder cancer earlier this year.

None of us were in the room when this incident occurred, so let’s unpack what we already know. It’s no secret that the Runaways were a band of girls who’d been specifically selected by Fowley in part because of their musical talent, but largely for their jailbait sex appeal. In interviews, it’s clear that the band members were hardly friends, and teenage hormones and high school politics played out in tour vans and hotel rooms all over the world. Teenage girls are frequently terrible to each other; this is nothing new. Singer Cherie Currie and lead guitarist Lita Ford seemed to have particular disdain for one another; Cherie’s salacious memoir, Neon Angel, wastes few opportunities to insult her former guitarist. Even in interviews several decades after the band’s demise, the two continue to give wildly different accounts of their time together, each blaming the other for various issues within the group.


Lita and Cherie’s antagonistic relationship was exploited by Kim Fowley, who used the rivalry to keep the band under his control. In the 2004 documentary Edgeplay (shot and directed by Fox’s replacement, former Runaways bassist Vicki Blue), Jackie explains, “He really abused Cherie mercilessly, much worse than the rest of us. Lita would just abuse him back, so he really just left her alone… He would set us off against each other so we could never gang up, figure out what he was doing and replace him.”

On screen, drummer Sandy West acknowledges a great deal of verbal and emotional abuse, although she specifies that she, Joan and Lita were often spared the brunt of Kim’s insults. Her eyes darken as she tells Vicki, “I don’t know what the difference was between… Like, he didn’t do that to me, Lita and Joan. Sexual abuse? Possibly. Was there sexual abuse in the band from Kim Fowley? I’m not the one to ask.”

Edgeplay certainly makes no effort to hide how manipulative and nasty Kim Fowley was to his young charges. When Sandy’s mother describes seeing Fowley for the first time, she admits, “I should have tied her to the bed and said, ‘You can’t do this.'” The band members reflect matter-of-factly about constant insults and lecherous commentary from Fowley, who also famously threw garbage and bottles at the band members during practices to teach them how to deal with hecklers.

Later, Cherie describes an incident in which Fowley had sex with a girl in a hotel room with the whole band watching, announcing that he was going to “teach [them] the right way to fuck.” In her book, she embellishes upon the incident, describing Fowley’s horrifying performance in great detail before she finally becomes disgusted and storms out of the room. “I made a vow not to think about what had happened — it was just too much. It was one of the sleaziest, most low-rent experiences I had ever witnessed. Nobody brought it up again. I made a vow that day that if Kim ever tried to lay a finger on me, he would have a goddamn stump by the time I was finished with him.”

During the Runaways’ Japanese tour in spring of 1977, Jackie ultimately had a breakdown and decided to quit the Runaways. The catalyst for her departure was the unceremonious destruction of her Thunderbird bass, which was caused by either Cherie’s carelessness, an indifferent road crew, a faulty guitar stand or Jackie herself, depending who you talk to. The other girls seemed relieved.

“Jackie whined about everything,” Cherie announced in Neon Angel. “About our schedule. About the songs. About money. About Kim. About our bad habits. About our drinking. About our drug taking. Sometimes being in the Runaways was a little like taking the wildest school trip ever with some of the baddest girls in high school. Unfortunately, Jackie’s presence was like having the world’s most uptight teacher along for the ride.”

Lita Ford is similarly insensitive about Jackie’s departure in her Edgeplay interview. “Jackie tried to kill herself,” she chuckles. “Jackie went over the edge because she couldn’t go to her own gynecologist… when she was in Tokyo. Jackie just didn’t want to have short fingernails anymore… and the guitar cord kept wrapping around her heels; she didn’t like that. She didn’t wanna wear flat shoes. She quit the band so she could wear high heels.”

Jackie Fox in Edgeplay

Jackie Fox in Edgeplay

For Joan’s part, she’s mostly stayed out of the drama related to the Runaways. As she explained to the Montreal Mirror in 2006, “To me, the Runaways is my baby, so you have to understand my perspective… I’m not gonna participate in a Jerry Springer fest, bottom line. With any band, you’re gonna have interpersonal conflicts, but if that’s what they thought the Runaways were about—about breaking a bass or putting on make-up—well, it’s very disappointing. Very, very disappointing. I wanted nothing to do with it because that’s not the band I was in.”

By all accounts, Kim Fowley was a terrible person who had no business being left alone with teenage girls. The man Cherie Currie describes as “ruthless at the helm, like some kind of demented ship’s captain” kept the girls starving and on the road, constantly promising them that a glamorous rock’n’roll lifestyle was just around the corner. He managed the band, produced their records, wrote their songs and otherwise controlled every aspect of their lives. The power dynamic between the band and their manager was a dangerous one, and the girls were absolutely too young and inexperienced to realize that it wasn’t something they needed to put up with.

The issue here is not whether or not Jackie Fox was raped by Kim Fowley. No matter who tells the story, there’s not a single version of it where Kim Fowley is not 36 and the band’s manager, and Jackie Fox is not 16 and intoxicated. There is no version where this incident doesn’t take place in a room full of freaked-out teenagers. For fans, the issue is whether or not Cherie Currie and Joan Jett stood idly by and laughed, whether the incident had become a recurring joke between the two. When news of Jackie’s account broke this past Friday, the collective internet came for Joan Jett’s head. She responded by releasing the following statement:

Screen Shot 2015-07-14 at 11.31.49 PM

Her response is not only unconvincing, it’s disappointing. While it’s possible that teenage Joan could have been unaware of the gravity of the situation she may have witnessed or (as stated above) may just not remember it, her statement still reads as dismissive. Joan Jett’s been a personal hero of mine for my entire life, and no matter what she was or wasn’t aware of at the time, I can’t believe she couldn’t step it up for her former bandmate.

Still, it’s worlds ahead of Cherie Currie, who posted the following:

Screen Shot 2015-07-14 at 11.31.58 PM

The statement has been edited; an earlier version contained an indignant Currie announcing that she’d probably have to start a GoFundMe to pay for the aforementioned polygraph. Fans on Currie’s Facebook page helpfully pointed out that in the Los Angeles area, polygraph tests cost about $150. Rather than empathize with the obvious trauma Jackie Fox dealt with for the past four decades, Cherie is outraged by being accused of a “foul act.”

Cherie posted again that evening — this time to link to a blog post from Jackie’s own website, dating back to 2000. In it, Jackie alleges that Cherie’s book Neon Angel is rife with exaggerations and outright lies about the Runaways’ career, but that “none of us really cared because it wasn’t derogatory and she managed to capture the spirit of the band in spite of the inaccuracies.” She specifically mentions the “sex education” story mentioned earlier, in which Kim Fowley had forced the girls to watch him perform sexual acts upon a groupie in order to “teach [them] how to fuck.” In her 2000 blog post, Jackie argues that the incident never happened, and that to her knowledge the band’s management had never forced themselves upon anyone. When she requested that Cherie remove the story from the book, she alleges that she was told that Currie felt she could write whatever she wanted, and that Jackie was supposed to be her friend. Cherie cites this six-year-old blog post as proof that Jackie Fox could not possibly be telling the truth — she’s already declared Kim’s innocence!

According to the Huffington Post article, Cherie’s story actually describes Jackie’s assault, but in the fictionalized version, Fowley’s partner is cooperative, even encouraging — and Jackie stands by and calmly witnesses the whole thing. At the time of this dispute, Jackie wasn’t ready to go public with her story; she tells Cherkis, “The feelings of shame that I had felt before were now double-fold.” It wasn’t until Kari Krome mentioned witnessing the rape in McDonnell’s book that Jackie felt validated enough to begin dealing with what happened.

The events described took place nearly 40 years ago, and it’s unrealistic to imagine that every single person involved with the Runaways at that time would remember the event exactly as it happened, especially with the amount of drinking and drugs involved. The Runaways were teenage girls, in way over their heads with an abusive, predatory manager; one could hardly fault them for not knowing how to react. Regardless, this story remains less about what Jackie Fox’s bandmates did or didn’t do in 1976, and more and more about how they’ve failed her in 2015.

To her credit, Fox is more forgiving; she released her own statement on her Facebook page which reads in part:

I only wish that if my bandmates can’t remember what happened that night — or if they just remember it differently — they would stick simply to saying that. By asserting that if they’d witnessed my rape, they’d have done something about it, they perpetuate the very myth I was trying to dispel when I decided to tell my story. Being a passive bystander is not a “crime.” All of us have been passive bystanders at some point in our lives.

If we have any hope at all of putting an end to incidents like these, we need to stop doubting the accusers and start holding rapists, abusers and bullies accountable. What we don’t need to do is point fingers at those who weren’t to blame for their actions.

In the meantime, Cherie has continued to update her Facebook page, responding to commenters, declaring that Jackie ought to “take responsibility for her performance,” describing it as a drugged-up sex show, and wondering where her compassion is. That’s right— where Jackie’s compassion is.

These women are currently in their mid-50s, not high school. Jackie Fox deserves better.

Before you go! Autostraddle runs on the reader support of our AF+ Members. If this article meant something to you today — if it informed you or made you smile or feel seen, will you consider joining AF and supporting the people who make this queer media site possible?

Join AF+!


Stef Schwartz is a founding member and the self-appointed Vapid Fluff Editor at She currently resides in New York City, where she spends her days writing songs nobody will ever hear and her nights telling much more successful musicians what to do. Follow her on twitter and/or instagram.

Stef has written 464 articles for us.


  1. How does the conversation about sexual assault always become about the women? Who saw what, who remembers nothing, who will or will not back each other up.

    The criminal here is the rapist. The survivor chose to tell her story. The more we can stay focused on the two of them, the less we will be derailed by the smokescreen of infighting the rapist encouraged in these women forty years ago.

    • To clarify this is a great article, Stef, I just think that when the former members of the band (and subsequently the rest of us) focus on this part of the story, we play into the hands of the predators who set up that infighting and those roles on purpose.

      • i see what you’re saying and don’t disagree at all, but i wrote this to… sort of deal with how disappointed i am with joan’s response. i’m not sure how to live in a world where she doesn’t handle everything gracefully and perfectly. i’ve always respected her for staying out of drama, but her reaction left a bad taste in my mouth.

        that said, i think jackie has been incredibly brave and very gracious about the treatment she’s received from her former bandmates. i can’t imagine what it took to come forwards about this after forty years.

      • I don’t disagree with your statement. It’s clear that KF is the one at fault here. Unfortunately, it’s the public responses of Joan and Cherie that has made this about the band. I think that’s what is most disappointing. Especially with Joan, who is a feminist activist and icon, I wish she had just been honest.

        These girls–none of them–are guilty of anything other than being saturated in the rape culture that was unchecked and prevalent in 70’s rock and roll culture.

        I think it is ok to say, “Hey. I don’t really remember this. Or I didn’t understand what was happening at the time because I was a kid. But I believe Jackie and I’m really sorry this happened. I wish I had/could have responded better at the time and I support her fully now.” That would have been the appropriate response vs. Joan dismissing her or Cherie, most outrageously, falling into a hate-spiral of victim-blaming.

        I agree with you! I wish the band members could have shown some compassion and made this about the real monster here, KF. I feel like Cherie, especially, is the one who is derailing the convo and ironically making herself feel attacked because she can’t get off the defensive.

        • Yes to both of you! And yeah, Cherie really took it to a new level of “this is about me” with her polygraph nonsense. JJ’s statement wasn’t actually THAT far off base, if you take out the “although I haven’t seen her in many many years.” What purpose does that qualifier have, besides continuing to distance and, by extension, discredit Jackie?

          The discussion below gets really good. As noted, Jackie manages to have a lot of compassion for the other girls (now women) caught up in the situation. I agree that it would be way preferable if they could show the same compassion now to her!

          • To me it would be weirder if JJ suddenly pretended to still know Jackie really well while addressing what she went through, and JJ saying she hadn’t seen Jackie in many years sounded like a disclaimer of “I’m not trying to erase the drama that happened in the band or pretend we’re best friends, but I wish her the best.” I do still think JJ made a statement in part to defend herself, but to me it doesn’t feel victim-blamey as much as it feels like a reiteration of JJ’s usual stance of not remembering what happened or wanting to get involved. I was actually surprised that people were so upset by what she said, but maybe my expectations were just so low that anything would have sounded decent to me. I wholeheartedly agree that the most important thing in all of this is to acknowledge the survivor’s story without questioning it and to put the blame on the rapist. I can’t believe he said he never ‘made love’ to anyone in the band. That’s so gross. Like no, you sexually harassed and assaulted them, so I see why you feel confident saying that.

  2. I just…they were 16 only sixteen and I can only imagine what was going on in their heads during that time, dealing with a man that had so much influence over them. I just can’t fully get down or completely vilify Joan Jett and Currie as a terrible people for this whole thing and since Fowley is dead, I guess they need to yell at something.

    But one thing I am just struck with awe is Jackie Fuchs saying, “I know some people watching the online drama unfold have been discouraged by the lack of support I’ve received from my former bandmates. To which I can only say that I hope you never have to walk in their shoes. My rape was traumatic for everyone, not just me, and everyone deals with trauma in their own way and time. It took exceptional courage for many of the witnesses to talk frankly about how they felt. Most have apologized to me for their inaction that night — apologies that have been unnecessary, though welcome.”

    I mean to see such grace and compassion, I hope everyone can do better.

    • I know. Jackie has been incredibly understanding. I’m appalled that anyone could feel attacked when she has actually been coming to their defense time and again. I feel sorry for all of them. But disappointed in Joan and Cherie (especially Cherie) as adults who have a chance, now, to be supportive. Or at least to say that they believe Jackie about what happened.

      • I am particularly disgusted by Cherie Currie’s response, which has been to make it all about her, re-position herself as the true victim, and go on the attack against Jackie Fox.

        In “Edgeplay”, the 2004 documentary about The Runaways, Jackie characterized the Cherie she knew in 1975-1977 as the most self-centered human being on the planet. Apparently, she still is that, and worse.

    • Yeah I think what was missing for me was either of them saying like, “i was a teenager, this man controlled all of our lives, we were powerless, we were on drugs, we had no idea what to do, he was also victimizing us and we were scared… and so we all just failed each other.” rather than denying any of it even happened, or cherie wanting to write about it in her book but replacing jackie with a random groupie in the story.

      In the HuffPo piece, Jackie fully forgives them and talks about bystander effect and why that could explain their actions. So after she was being so cool about it, for Cherie to come out swinging was a bit fucked up.

      • Yes, this. I can’t blame them for failing to step it up when they were 16, probably fucked up themselves, with such an unbalanced power dynamic and any number of other circumstances we as the public are not privy to. What I do take issue with is the dismissive – and in Cherie’s case, even accusatory – tone that they’ve taken, when it would be so easy to just express a little understanding and/or compassion.

      • Exactly. They went through this whole fucked up thing together. I can even understand why made fun of Jackie’s rape back then, as Vicki Blue says they did. It was the 70’s. KF was abusive to all of them. This is what they thought was normal. And they were being intentionally pitted against each other. And they were girls. They were just girls and girls can be mean. It’s girl culture. It’s the way the patriarchy keeps girls in line. It all makes sense.

        Literally everything about this whole thing makes sense to be except for Joan and Cherie denying that it happened.

        • Exactly. I think you’ve hit the nail perfectly on the head there, and that’s why it hurts so much. And I can’t think of anything coherent to add other than my sadness. The way Jackie’s handling their responses deserves so much more than that.

        • It only makes sense to me if I remember that both Joan and Cherie were victims too. Jackie understands the trauma they must have experienced as bystanders in that moment. I can’t imagine the shame and guilt I would feel after 40 years of dealing with that kind of trauma. They must be in such a profound state of shame and denial that they still can’t face what really happened. Everyone processes trauma differently. Their dismissals, attacks and victim blaming sound a lot to me like people who were so fucked up by their experience that they can’t muster compassion for Jackie without acknowledging and processing their own guilt and pain. It’s pretty clear that they are not ready, able, or willing to do that.

          Either that or they are terrible humans. Disappointing and tragic, no matter how you look at it.

          • I don’t think they are terrible humans. I think they are real humans who are reacting in a real way. But I think the things that Cherie, especially, is posting and alleging are really deeply harmful. Super disappointing and tragic…

        • The idea that this man could still have so much control over women now that they’re adults and he is dead is so terrifying, especially if they aren’t recognizing his abuse as one of the reasons they were so willing to turn their backs on each other and are still willing to turn their backs on Jackie

        • Right, because if they’re making fun of Jackie, then what’s happening to Jackie is’t happening to them. Laughing at Jackie while she’s being raped is like a self-made mantle of safety called “at least it’s not us.”

  3. ugh, this is all so sad and heartbreaking and like the epitome of how the patriarchy and rape culture fucks us up in a serious serious way.

  4. It’s so hard to see such icons reacting this way… especially in reaction to how gracious and forgiving Jackie’s continued to be throughout the release and reactions to the HuffPo piece. I’m having a super hard time dealing with the childlike reactions of adult icons I’ve so long admired….

  5. ”No matter who tells the story, there’s not a single version of it where Kim Fowley is not 36 and the band’s manager, and Jackie Fox is not 16 and intoxicated.”

    Yup, yup, yup.

    • This was the big one for me too. This is the important part– not the who saw who do what, when, or why.

  6. It is awful that Cherie thinks this about her. I’m also really perplexed by what crime she thinks that she’s been accused of.

    • She is very confused- as her previously very contradictory statements, particularly about this incident and/or others very oddly like it (See interview see gives, on camera, in doc about Rodney Bingenheimer, The Mayor of Sunset Strip) as well as other on-camera reflections as she attempted previous comebacks. And as a narcissist, she believes EVERYTHING is always about her. Never mind the paranoid aspect of feeling she is being “accused of a crime.”

  7. I felt sick to my stomach when I read the HuffPo piece, and Joan’s response was heartbreaking. But what takes the cherry is Cherie Currie’s attitude. Like, I thought her posts were bad enough, but the comments she’s been leaving on her Facebook, specially when she says Jackie took drugs and performed a sex show by her own choice… It’s not that she denies it happened, it’s just that she’s 100% victim blaming. It’s so sad and so “you should know better” type thing.

    • Cherie Currie is being completely disgusting to Jackie on her Facebook. Jackie is a much better person than I am for being so gracious about this and continues to stick up for her bandmates. Even though it’s clear Currie doesn’t give a shit about her. This type of victim-blaming makes me sick. Especially coming from someone who claims to be a rape-survivor herself. Where is Currie’s compassion? If she wants to be mad at somebody about this she can be mad at the person who wrote the HuffPo article, not Jackie who doesn’t even blame any of the members for what happened to her. She was simply telling her story. I’m not surprised she stopped associating with her former bandmates after she left the band. They may be great musicians but everything I’ve heard about them as people over the years leaves much to be desired.

    • I agree with you about Currie’s comments about the incident. What has always bothered me about Cherie is ever since I watched EDGEPLAY and read her book and listened to her always talk about what slime Kim Fowley was, the things he said and did to all the girls, she has him produce Beauty’s Only Skin Deep,and then takes him into her home and does the nursing for him when he’s dying and then introduces him into her son’s life getting him once again to write songs and produce her new album! I mean WTF? The same with her comments about Lita Ford and now they are like BFF’S I just don’t get it or her.

  8. One point of fact: The blog post by Jackie, linked by Cherie, actually dates back to 2000; Jackie re-posted it on her web site in 2009.

    Otherwise, spot on.

  9. This is so sad, but I do thank you for a well written, honest article.
    Even the discourse in the comments continued to be mindful, which is needed in reaction to situations like this.

  10. To me the weirdest/saddest part of Cherie victim-blaming Jackie is the fact that Cherie is a rape survivor herself.

    “The filmmakers [of The Runaways] took a lot of liberties. If you read the book, then you’ll know that my twin sister’s boyfriend had raped me and took my virginity. That’s why I was angry, that’s why I cut my hair to look like David Bowie’s.”

    I can see how she might not, at the time, recognize what she witnessed at the New Year’s Eve party as rape. I can see how she might deal with the trauma she witnessed other girls experiencing by framing the victims as weak and therefore deserving of it, unlike her. Internalized misogyny, yo.

    But also, Cherie Currie is 55 freakin years old. Kim Fowley is dead. It’s very fucked up and sad that she won’t stand up for a bandmate even now.

    • It’s so sad. It’s all so sad.

      When I used to work in rape crisis services, there was definitely a thing where a survivor would sometimes take on the attitude of “I made it out OK, so you should, too,” especially when they felt their sexual assault was “more serious” or harder to recover from. It’s totally a coping mechanism. And it is exactly what rape culture looks like. Rape is normalized. Respectability politics loom over who gets to claim the title of victim or survivor. And shit like this happens. And we have to talk about it or it just sits there, unaddressed.

      • All very true.

        It seems to fit (that part about survivor attitude) with something else Cherrie wrote in her autobiography. About being raped a second time shortly after leaving The Runaways and to appear at her attacks trial. That she barely needed a day in counseling because the instruction to take her angry out on a clown doll seemed pointless. That she wanted to be a model for survival and expressed anger about Kelly McGillis (sorry if I spelled her name wrong) saying in an interview she could never get beyond her rape. Cherrie argued Kate had a duty to her fans to insure them this was something they could overcome and if she couldn’t do that she should have kept her mouth shut!

        I personally felt that was needlessly harsh. Sure it one can’t say it gets better they may be better off saying nothing, but does ever star really need to monitor every though they have about their personal life before it get out to public. There shouldn’ be one right model for healing that everyone has to live up to. At least I certainly hope not.

        Great work her Stef and Kaelyn

    • Those are all valid points but were you also aware that she was brutally raped and almost murdered a few years later? She was also passed over to a famous popstar by Foley and raped as well. Cheri’s older age has nothing to do with how trauma is processed. You thankfully came of age in an era where you can go online and find a community of survivors.

      This did not exist back then.

      Everyone from your parents to your siblings blamed you for your rape and everything else. 80s 90s “feminist trailblazer” Madonna in Truth or Dare mocked her makeup artist for being raped and sodomized and many queers laughed right along with her. When Medina mentioned her own experience with rape many years later she did not take the time to ever apologize to her make up artist or show any self criticism.

      If the so-called queen of pop and indomitable queer icon Madonna has never been given any pushback for similar callousness about a rape victim (callousness displayed in a film that will be seen for decades to come) what does that say about Third Wave?

  11. Her “complaining about everything” is probably also an aftermath of her trauma…

    Honestly, I couldn’t finish the Huffington Post article (though it might also have to do with me reading it at like 3am), but it was just too much. I honestly thought that by the next day the articles would be more positive, I never would have expected Joan and Cherie to deny it this way. Not in this day and age and not with the recent movement to bring down rape culture.

    It’s very disappointing of these grown women, but it’s clear that Jackie, despite it all, really has been the strongest woman of them all.

  12. Another excellent, thorough piece on an important issue. Heartbreaking, but welcome — thank you.

  13. It’s heartbreaking to read this .We can not go back in time to help this girls, but at least, we can educate the young girls who are in similar possitios today, who think that there is no point on accusing a rapist, who are scared; and also those who think that it is ok to pay a price for fame,that should not be accepted. That power over a girl, who would do anything, even destroy herself for a job is not ok. We can not change what happened to Jackie, but at least we can try to educate and prevent other girls from going trhough this.
    English is not my firts language, I hope this is readable

    • Honestly, this is WHY a lot of people prefer to ignore the Runaways, and listen to the Go Go’s. Yes, the Runaways were the FIRST all female rock n’ roll band, but they were problematic.

  14. In a way, it really is a terrible shame that through their reactions (particularly Currie), they are indirectly protecting Kim Fowley’s reputation, by shifting the attention and debate towards themselves, his crime is becoming a secondary news item.

  15. When I read the full article, I felt like the other bandmates were going through a combination of bystander effect and Stockholm Syndrome, mixed with memory impairment from drugs/alcohol.

  16. Cherie is really pissing me off. I feel as though more people are giving Joan shit over this, probably because she is the biggest “star” out of the group, but she has been keeping her statements brief. Meanwhile, Cherie is making it all about her.

    This isn’t the Cherie Currie Show, sweetheart.

    • This and with Currie, I’m shocked with her lack of compassion since she is a survivor herself.

      • I imagine that her reaction is at least partially because of her being a survivor. At the time that this happened, she had already experienced sexual assault herself and she says that it affected her a lot. Jackie being raped also wasn’t framed for her as sexual assault at the time. It was just another slutty, passed out girl at a hotel party, who happened to be her bandmate this time (who she didn’t particularly like). I can totally see why she wouldn’t empathize, because she probably has lots of feelings about her own sexual assault and at some level, it protects her to think that she is so different than Jackie, to put the blame on Jackie for “taking drugs” and “putting on a sex show.”

        • I agree with this comment ( actually I agree with a of your comments here – I really appreciate your compassion and knowledge.

          I’m disappointed in her response but I also know that trauma distorts things and shame and denial are powerful and unpredictable forces.

          • 100% agree! I kind of hate Cherie right now, but I also can understand what happened here. But also…she’s all grown up now and she could at least show some compassion. It’s pretty clear by 2015 standards that this was rape and even then, she obviously didn’t feel OK about it or she wouldn’t have written about it in her book.

  17. I appreciate this compilation/commentary of the information. A lot of the other comments on the internet about this are so heavily editorialized that I can’t hardly read it. I can only imagine how Jackie feels, having all of this dredged up and publicly argued about all these years later. How painful.

  18. One of the risks of coming forward is that you can lose public control of the narrative of your own victimization. That’s re-victimization. I’m glad it’s not happening for Fox.
    It’s very unusual for a survivor to contact those who failed to protect and defend her and reassure them it was “bystander effect” and that they were not at fault. I wonder if it was subconsciously the only way Fox could come up with to reach out and even bring the subject up: “Hey, it’s okay, you’re off the hook, can we finally talk about this?” What an incredibly generous but risky way to reach out for the support she’s needed.
    I don’t know that we know enough about how teen girls react to gang rape to even say that there was a bystander effect. But whether or not, Currie and Jett could at least apologize for having participated in the cruelty and shunning of Fox that happened after. Yes, they were under that pig’s spell, but that doesn’t absolve them of abject mean-girl cruelty.
    Currie seems to be running totally off the rails. If she thinks what happened was a drugged-up sex show in which Fox consented, she’s going back on what she’d previously claimed. What a head-case.
    I wish Fox the best with her healing. Thanks for coming forward. We’re all on a learning curve here, trying to find better vocabulary for violence, responsibility, and healing.

  19. I think it’s hard for people to see themselves as someone who doesn’t take action, who did nothing even if it meant standing up someone who had so much power of them like Kim Fowley did. No one wants to be a coward.

    I say this as person who’s been the at bottom of the totem pole since kindergarten and dealt with, okay sometimes still dealing with, my own rage at people who stood by while shit happened to me. And as person who at their lowest point put their body between an abuser and his victim in front of that man’s friends, the craziest most dangerous thing I’ve ever done because I was crazy and she said help me please.

    Not trying excuse some the ridiculous shit Cherie Currie is spouting right now off tho.

  20. After all these years Lita, Cherrie, and Joan just don’t like Jackie. However it is so obvious that Jackie’s behavior at the time was due to that brutal assault she suffered at the hand of that sub-human Kim Fowley. Ok as teenagers you can’t see that, but as grown women in their mid 50’s.? Deplorable.

    • Keep in mind that Joan may not have, by her own account, not spoken to Fox in decades, she, as an adult, harassed and threatened to sue her, when she would not simply hand over the “rights to her life story”(never mind that the sum offered was an insult- but she was expected to do so without ANY knowledge of how her name-or story would be used). Or perhaps she is as unaware of the bullying techniques utilized by her current manager (to which her name is always affixed)- and this is hardly the only instance- (he prides himself on his fondness for litigation- never mind having deeper pockets than most of his victims, er, targets)as she was when Fowley first groomed her.

      • You must be speaking of Kenny Laguna. Lita tried for decades to talk to Joan but Kenny was a road block. Up until a few years ago, the only time Lita had talked to Joan was when they ran into each other in an airport. He also offered her $1,000 for her life story for the movie.

  21. I’m really glad for the discussion here – both the anger and the compassion. And I so appreciate both Stef’s and KaeLyn’s contributions to it. Thanks AS!

  22. I’ve been following this story for a few days and every inch of coverage makes me want to bury my face in my pillow and forget the world.

    I’m one of those who believes Fuchs’ story without also pushing all the blame onto the other band members. I really, really despise the way KF is escaping all the discussion just because he’s dead and how different reporters are portraying this as yet another “girl fight” in the Runaways saga. I’ve watched as infuriated internet commenters have either accused Fuchs of outright lying or called CC and JJ “as bad as Bill Cosby”.

    I think it’s entirely possible that Fuchs is telling the absolute truth–and that Joan Jett or Currie may not remember the event. As others have brought up, they were overwhelmed, victimized teens caught in a spiral of drugs and drama and an unregulated music industry. I don’t think that one survivor coming forward with her story means we should look for living individuals to shoulder the blame of someone who has passed away.

    I don’t find JJ’s response “disappointing” so much as “not perfect”. She’s been brief; she hasn’t denied the event so much as admit she doesn’t remember it; and she’s encouraged readers to listen to Jackie rather than try and embellish the story herself. However, it is brief, and focuses more on absolving her own involvement than on discussing Jackie’s experience. But I don’t fault her for not wanting to delve into a story that’s not her own and that she may have no clear memory of; I also don’t expect her to be a Perfect Feminist Voice with a faultless and eloquent explanation for everything. As a person, I think she has her own faults like everyone else; as a Role Model (TM), I can see how those who look up to her may be disappointed in a lack of a speech.

    Currie’s response is much more troubling but, as KaeLyn mentioned, isn’t completely unheard of. I think Jackie has been more than understanding and that the childish bickering isn’t helping the situation.

    I’m most disappointed in the way this story has been covered at all turns. Multiple articles have titled the coverage “Runaways bassist accuses JJ of watching her get raped”, or something along those lines, which detracts from the victim’s story/perpetrator’s guilt and spins it into yet another cat fight. I don’t think it’s fair of reporters, deprived of a Kim Fowley to expose, to turn to Jett and Currie and paint them as sinister villains OR to insinuate that Jett/Currie’s potential situation is understandable only if they were also “victimized”, a term that carries a lot of weight. The world is not divided into Rapists and Victims.

    I think the only positive thing to come out of this, aside from perhaps furthering Fuchs’ healing process, is that it shows how bad we still are at understanding and discussing trauma. In our current dialogue, even in socially progressive spaces, we still don’t know how to factor in bystander responses, psychology, and different responses to shared trauma. This is evident in the surprise at Currie’s reaction–why isn’t she, also a survivor of rape, more understanding? We sometimes have trouble accepting that a survivor may not be a perfect model of support or morality in every interaction. We have trouble separating ourselves from current dialogue and theory surrounding “appropriate” responses to victim’s trauma or confessions and sometimes can’t perfectly apply them to situations that don’t fit the paradigm or that occurred in a past or situation we can’t relate to. I think these discussions need to go further than model victim/monster, guilty vs. guiltless, truth vs. lies. Everyone’s experiences and reactions are different, and no amount of theory or paradigms or terminology can parse down such difficult topics into understandable, easily analyzable happenings.

    • I didn’t get though all of this, but I really like what you said about how the media and online forums are pretty sick in playing this up as one more ugly “girl fight” in the ongoing Runaway saga. It’s totally unrealistic to expect every band of girl musicians to be model for sisterhood and always like or stand by one another, just because they are fewer such people for girls to look up to. If what except the so many male groups made great music together in the past, while barely speaking to each other in the future without bringing shit from there past with unresolvable question what-happened-to who-first, why should we assume female bands are going to be such better “role models”? The press just loves to women fight amount themselves pit famous-working women against each other, but music fans what to respect artist for what do together or alone they have to realize their still human and not going to live their lives according to some broader feminist ideal.
      And your absolutely right about that last part to. We have a long way to go as culture when it comes to “understanding and discussing trauma.”

    • This is really on-point. While as you said, JJ’s response is not perfect and Cherie’s is even more off the mark, the responsibility and blame can and should only be placed on the rapist (and of course, the rape culture that makes it possible for rapists to get away with that). It is not any of those girls’ faults that Jackie was abused. She absolutely deserves support, empathy, and non-judgment as she processes what she went through, and it’s incredibly brave that she shared her story. But talking about this as a girl-fight and focusing on the bandmates’ roles in the incident in my opinion does a disservice to Jackie. If we’re going to talk about their reactions at all it seems like it should be in the context of ‘this is what rape culture and misogyny does to us when we internalize it,’ and about the difficulties of coping with past trauma. Many media outlets are villainizing the most famous members of the band and trying to sensationalize the situation just to get clicks, without actually being invested in supporting survivors and empowering them to speak up. So it is not totally mind-blowing that those people, who are very much in the public eye, would be defensive in their statements. Yes, it sucks that they reacted that way and their responses could have been so much better, but focusing more on your disappointment with them than with the rapist and abuser seems counter-productive to me. I want to raise Jackie’s voice and the voice of her supporters, and be compassionate towards all the people hurt by this, while focusing my anger at KF and at rape culture.

  23. I have been following this story since it broke on HP and I cannot get it out of my head. I can’t imagine what Jackie went through. Or the other people that witnessed it. Or rape survivors processing this through their experience. I had some minor abuse when I was younger but I don’t remember it with any clarity. My sister was also attacked and that had more emotional impact. I can not imagine dealing with it in public.. 40 years later.. With numerous witnesses to fill in the details! I honestly think Joan and Cherie had a conference call with Kenny and synced their story. I think that worked well for Joan, but it left Cherie looking like a crazy fool for all the stuff she has written about it. She seems caught between stories. Cherie really should be embarrassed. She was the one who tried to “out” Jackie and profit off the story. She even taunted Jackie with “the truth will set you free”. With a friend like that – who needs enemies? One thing that is clear is that they were not friends. NONE of them. They were all immature kids trying to be rock stars. It seems like their parents failed them- bad. Kim is in hell. Those who defend him and call him a genius are dumb asses and have bought into the Runaways legend. While I want to focus my mental energy on Kim dastardly action, I can’t help but fixate on the screwed up relationships in this band. Of course that was Kim’s plan – to divide and conquer. I just don’t understand why there was so much disregard for Jackie. The excuses for her leaving the band (in Edgeplay) looked like petty nonsense. She did not leave the band because she wanted to wear high heels. Maybe it was because she was raped and treated like crap while in the band? Jackie has been nothing but empathetic in her writings. Jackie loved rock and being in the Runaways. Despite this tragic incident, she still wrote glowingly about being in the band and participated in a 94 quasi reunion. Many internet people are calling her a malcontent because of the legal steps she took against Cherie (book) and Joan (movie). In both cases she seemed quite righteous. Joan’s movie about the Runaways is fun, but it seems a fantasy compared to what really happened. Whether it was reunion talk, movie portrayals, or talk of Jackie’s bass playing, core members of the band NEVER gave Jackie credit for her contribution. Lita called the bass players “toilet rolls”. As in they changed them often and had no value. I tell you what. Jackie matters NOW. She has made a bigger contribution to this world than any of the selfish rock stars. Jackie is coming to terms with the rape. That is really all that matters. It is a shame Joan and Cherie can’t FINALLY step up and be supportive.

    If I could question Joan.. I would ask: Did you see a sexual encounter between Kim & Jackie? Let’s start there. I am caught between: she was not there and she did not see a rape. If this was not a rape (in your 17 year old eyes), why did you approach other people later to try to cover it up? Is this report bs? Did you and other band members taunt Jackie about this? Did you and other band members joke about this incident repeatedly after she was out of the band? Did Jackie (the straight arrow) have frequent sex / drug performances?

    I would not know where to start with questioning Cherie. Her stories are ALL over the place. One thing to say about Jackie. If she wanted to cause maximum harm to Joan / Kenny, then why did she wait til now to disclose? If she would have come forth before the big movie – there would be no movie! She also had AMPLE opportunity to reveal the truth around the time of Edgeplay. She didn’t and went out of her way to avoid Cherie’s depiction. Imagine if Jackie reports the drugging and rape in 1976! There would be no Runaways first album. There would have been lawsuits and a trial. There is a really good chance we would not even know about Joan, Lita or the Runaways. It seems like Jackie did everything she could to support the band and not rock the boat. Jackie is an incredibly strong person. That is for sure. Joan has had her band fantasy for 40 years,but it is over now. I can understand how kids miss handled this 40 years ago. But the way these adults have handled it in the last 20 years? Pathetic. I hope they all get together and talk about it (-Lita). I would love to see them do a joint press conference and speak out with one voice. Kenny will never allow that. Team Blackheart expects it will blow over, because Jackie does not matter. In their mind she never did. Her little story just gets in the way of their rock star fantasies and future earnings. I think team Blackheart is under estimating how this will affect their future. I have talked to my JJ friends and the reaction has been shock. It as if we never knew the real Joan Jett. I guess I have seen enough of her shows and bought enough compilations. Time to move on.

    • After stumbling across “Edgeplay” on Showtime back in the mid-2000’s, I became briefly obsessed with the Runaways…their music not so much, but rather their story. Of all the scads of dysfunctional rock groups that have come and gone over the years, I think the interpersonal dynamic of these girls/women and their manager is just about the most toxic I’ve ever seen. The fact that there is still such bad blood between some of them 40 years removed, to the point where two of them can’t even bring themselves to respond like human beings to a horrific public revelation of rape by another one of them, is just incredibly tragic.

      In “Edgeplay”, I noticed that Cherie Currie always seemed to recall things in ways that made herself out to be the blameless hero. Example: Everyone else remembers her showing up 2 hours late for the infamous photo shoot that led to her quitting the band; in her mind she was an hour early. Those soft porn photos that pissed all the other girls off? It wasn’t her, Kim Fowley forced her to do it. And so forth. I chalked it up to her “lead singer disease”/diva craziness and thought it was kind of endearing. But in this case, it’s just wrong. She is coming across as an awful, awful person, and from the looks of it, she’s just getting started.

      I always admired Cherie as someone with a great, natural instinct for performance. She was a kid who’d never done any real public singing before, and within a matter of months she became this very capable frontwoman for a band with a record deal. Her voice wasn’t great by any means, but it was unique, and she knew how to sing rock and roll. She knew what to do on stage as well. I can’t help but wonder if her reaction to this at some level isn’t that same instinct kicking in, realizing that this is the most attention anybody has given her since “Foxes” 35 years ago(outside of the fairly small Runaways fan community), and she is “running away” with it (pun intended). Cherie’s got a fairly new album out that nobody’s buying, she never liked Jackie anyway, so why not just milk it for all it’s worth by starting a media feud? It wouldn’t surprise me.

      Clearly the most level-headed people involved here, are Kari Krome, Victory Tischler-Blue, and Jackie Fox, and I stand with them 100%.

      FUCK Joan Jett, and FUCK Cherie Currie. (I’d say Fuck Lita Ford too, but I’m afraid she’d hunt me down and kick my ass.)

      • Not for nothing, but Lita wasn’t even there when the rape happened. It was corroborated by other witnesses. With that, Lita has her own personal shit she has to deal with (her divorce and her ex-husband blocking her from seeing or even contacting her kids for the last few years). She seems to be taking the high road and keeping her mouth shut.

    • Lita said they went through bass players like toilet paper, meaning they had a lot of bass players. A lot of musicians use the term when they have had to replace a lot of a certain member. With my band, we had a lot of drummers and always said we went through them like toilet paper. Don’t try reading into this like she was trying to devalue Jackie. Was she devaluing Vickie when she said that in Edgeplay? No. It’s a joke.

    • What you’re missing is that Cheri Curry was brutally raped (three times). The third time she was tortured and almost murdered in 1977. The perpetrator served one year county. His legal fees paid for by Jennifer Jason Leigh’s father Vic Morrow.

      You are disregarding history of Patriarchy if you think anyone would’ve listen to Jackie, or Cheri or prosecuted their rapists to any real degree or that Jackie’s brutal rape by Kim Fowley would’ve thwarted The Runaways.

      I believe both women. How they each express the truth and paths to healing what they experienced is not our judgement call.

  24. In her book Cherie depicted Jackie as an entertained observer at her own rape who wanted another hamburger. I’m absolutely horrified.

  25. I fail to understand why Joan, Cherie and Lita have so little compassion for Jackie. Why for example, would Cherie ever include a her version of this incident in her book? To me, detailing the event and painting Jackie as a willing participant is shockingly callous. Even if she believed it was consensual at the time, she had to understand that it was not by the time she published her revised book in 2011. It seems so monumentally selfish to re-victimize Jackie by publicly co-opting and exploiting her story in Neon Angel. I can’t imagine how gut-wrenching and humiliating it was for Jackie to have to deal with Cherie’s warped portrayal of her ordeal released to the world and very transparent to the many people who knew the story. Cherie’s changing the name of the victim to Marcie the groupie so Jackie had no legal recourse was the icing on the cake.

  26. I don’t think a lot of people really understand the high levels of emotional intelligence and self-awareness that it takes for people who are faced with deep shame, repressed trauma, public anger, etc. to respond with measured empathy and appropriate sensitivity. It is a skill we are not taught, and most of us remain emotional children all our lives, no matter how old we get.

    We expect public figures to live up to better ideals of this than average people, but they are damaged and imperfect humans too.

    I don’t say this to condone or defend what Currie has said. Her reaction is unquestionably deplorable. But maybe for her to acknowledge that on some level she did know what was going on but did nothing about it would require her to hate herself, and maybe she can’t psychologically handle that.

  27. It’s one thing for Joan to claim to not remember the events. Maybe she didn’t. She was young and they were all on drugs at the time. So I didn’t think Joan’s released statement was all that bad. Now Cherie is a totally different story. I think Cherie in particular is on the defensive because she wrote the rape in the book only with Jackie as the bystander. Now it is possible that Cherie also doesn’t quite remember all the facts back then for the same reasons. Fair enough. But she lost me when she decided that the best course of action in defending herself is to smear Jackie Fox and insinuate the rape was a consensual act that she should “take responsibly for”. I’m sorry but she is a 55 year old woman. That “but they were kids and also victims” doesn’t fly as an excuse for Cherie’s CURRENT adult behavior regarding this matter.

  28. I’ve met Joan, Lita, and Cherie, and I can tell you they are all very gracious and kind people. All of these fools seem to be saying that Joan and Cherie should just roll over and accept all the personal attacks that they are now enduring from mindless Huff-Post readers, and many who don’t know the first thing about any of the players in this drama. Cherie is not at fault for speaking up in her own defense, and she’s been a great “advocate” for rape victims for many years. Her own book, “Neon Angels”, is a very rivoting read, which may have left out Jackie Fox’s name (by her own request) but still conveyed the sick acts that Kim Fowley carried out in front of and upon the girls in the band. Most people who are close to the band know that Cherie not only faced Kim Fowley and confronted him with his terrible actions, but she forgave him and took him into her own home when he was a sickly, dying old man. I’m sure that’s why Cherie is taking a break from the internet right now, because the ugly crap that people are spewing in her direction needs to die down before she’s going to say much more about it. There is nothing she can say that won’t be twisted around to blame her for something that “did or did not” happen over thirty years ago. I feel sorry for Jackie if she is really haunted by this whole incident and it has ruined her life… but I sincerely hope that there is not a book or film to follow shortly. The sensationalism of the Huff-Post article, to me, is a terrible travesty. Any person who diverts the attention away from the culprit… Kim Fowley… and tries to place some sort of posthumous blame on Sandy, or Joan and Cherie, is just trying to stir the pot and gain notoriety for themselves. Let Jackie tell her story, in her own words, and not these dredged up internet posts from 2000 or 2009. Leave Joan and Cherie alone, and let them speak up if they chose to… not because there are all these internet trolls in their faces, saying disgusting and hurtful things. You should all be ashamed. I’d never even visit the Huffington Post site, much less read the stupid blogs… but this story really makes me angry. I guess that was the intention of the writer, so the jokes on me, right?

    • My husband met Robert Yates at the grocery store once. They stood in line together. He was very nice, didn’t even try to kill my husband or the cashier!

      Turns out that besides being a serial killer, he was a stellar guy. Went to church. Raised a family. Only murdered a few women.

    • What kind of “advocate” accuses a victim of participating in a drugged-out sex show?

    • Imagine for a minute how different the response to Cherie would be if she extended the same level of understand and kindness to Jackie, who is actually deserving of it, as she did to Kim FOULey who by any measure is definitely now. And realize that it was Cherie’s choice to make it all about herself. And what I find most curious is how she can prove that she was not present when this incident took place yet remembers it down to the minutest detail in her book.

  29. For the record, I’m pretty sure that Lita as well as Jackie did not sell the rights to her story for the Runaways movie. She reported at the time she was offered $1000.00 by Kenny Laguna for the rights and was rightfully offended.

  30. This is one of the most thoughtful articles I’ve read about this, and the comments as well are among the most civilized. I was with the article right up until it took a turn toward focusing on Joan Jett and Cherie Currie.

    Why is it tantamount to not believing Jackie Fuch’s story to say, well, if she was drugged on Qaaludes and barely conscious, isn’t it possible that she might have a memory of seeing Cherie and Joan, complete with reading the expressions of their faces, that wasn’t completely accurate and that their memories are also quite different? Yet we can’t believe either of them? I can well believe that at worst, they didn’t know exactly what was going on. But why are they even at the center of this story?

    I really think more focus should be on the integrity of the article itself. It’s been pointed out elsewhere that the writer perhaps fostered feelings of negativity in readers toward Joan Jett and Cherie Currie in particular, as well as Lita in his interview with Pitchfork. I believe that in the future his decisions about how he unfolded the story will be seen as irresponsible and even pandering. The attempt to give it an intellectual gloss with some reference to “bystander effect” is exasperating. Even as just a piece of journalism, I was quite annoyed to realize that he pulled much of his research from Edgeplay, and he didn’t seem to make that clear in the article.

    I’d defend Joan Jett and Cherie Currie more, but it should suffice to say that they never should have been put in the position of defending themselves because of Jackie Fuch’s account. I’m really hoping that this is recognized more largely soon. It makes you realize why civilizations had to come up with a court system.

    Some of the response from journalists has had a weird male bias, a phenomenen of men writing about what woulda coulda shoulda been done by the little girls who Jackie says were there and what they should be saying now. And as for them being 55 now — believe me, that doesn’t change things as much as you might hope. It really doesn’t matter. Anyway, in my eyes Jett’s and Currie’s responses have been pretty rational. Even if Cherie’s lashing out — man, I’d be completely incoherent if I found myself dragged into that position. But I’d hope to summon the grace that Joan Jett did in her reply.

    • The confusing part is that we have eye witnesses corroborating the assertion that they were there, and perhaps more troubling we have Jackie’s replacement as bass player saying that Joan and Cherie had a running joke for years regarding Jackie’s rape.

  31. Thank you for writing this, and for the incredible conversation in the comments. Jackie has been so great through this, Its hard for me to believe Cherie can continue to victimize herself when this isn’t about her?? at all?? People love to have someone to point the finger at, so I understand Cherie and Joan potentially feeling attacked in that, but there is a multitude of ways they could have handled it that didn’t involve brushing it off, victim-blaming, or claiming to be accused of committing a crime. So disappointed in the way they handled it.

  32. For their next reunion the Runaways should rock out to the Slade cover “Mama Weer All Crazee Now.” Seriously, these women made four or five years of music when they were very young, some of it quite good, most — to be generous — fair to middlin’. Then followed 40 years of anger, melodrama, backbiting and multiple lawsuits. None of these people really like or trust each other and most have not been honest narrators of their own or their bandmates’ lives. The article is probably among the sanest I have read among the pompous “statements” on the latest bout of Runaways insanity and bad karma. I think people need to walk away because we will never get the (sordid) truth of what happened that night.

  33. Actually, Micki Steele (aka Michael Steele of the Bangles) was the band’s first bass player, and a songwriter and vocalist. She left before the debut LP for reasons unknown, but subsequent interviews reveal no love lost between Micki and Fowley. I’d love to see her weigh in with some observations about all this stuff.

    • I doubt that will happen anytime soon. Michael Steele has all but vanished off the face of the earth, and has been virtually MIA for the past 11 years.
      However, an interview from about 15 years ago, she reported that due to her being of age, rather than force himself like he allegedly did with Jackie Fox and Kari Krome, Fowley kept coming onto her, which made her feel understandably uncomfortable. Her attempts to ignore it in hoping the problem would go away only contributed to Fowley kicking her out of the band. Fowley of course, denied it, comparing it to John Lydon hitting on Audrey Hepburn.

  34. Thank you for the thoughtful article and thanks to all the thoughtful straddlers who have left thoughtful and compassionate comments that engage the conversation in meaningful ways.

    Now can we get those defending rapists in the comments to stop?

    • The defenders of Kim Fowley in these comments are the names of people I recognize from Cherie’s facebook.

  35. I’ve learned a lot watching this play out. I’m glad she came forward, but the fact that Currie and Jett deny/minimize the event, and others even try to defend and re-characterize Fowler, all bespeak how really risky it is to come forward. Even forty years later, some parties involved are still patrolling and defending their public image. It’s horrifying. Whatever did or did not go on, the fact that a teen girl was drugged and someone had sex with her means she was raped. That other teens in the room did not connect the dots is unsurprising. Yet for them to claim, “Oh, if I HAD known, I would have stopped it!” is completely self-serving wishful thinking.
    Come on, ladies – stop posturing. You were NOT the bad-asses even you wish you had been. Stop performing yourselves.
    Fox is extremely generous in her bystander effect interpretation. She lets them off the hook. Yet perhaps equally possible is that of least a couple of these other young girls stared in her face and did nothing out of sheer antipathy. Face it: they hated this girl. She “complained all the time about everything.” They fully participated in vicious cruelty towards her after she left. Ford and Curie continued the cruelty in the 2006 documentary.
    Why did they hate her? She was mouthy. Maybe all her “complaining” was actually resistance, while they went along with Fowler most of them time, and they’re angry at themselves for it. She actually went and tried to get another manager. What did they do? Who knows? The public would not be wondering had they themselves not been so publicly so PETTY about her even as adults. Jesus! She definitely got scapegoated and shunned. They have themselves to answer to for that, EVEN though they were kids.
    Yes, Fowler was the perpetrator. But that crew itself was a rape culture. The public I left to parse out female participation because we also need to ask ourselves whether and how often and when we are complicit in rape culture. Even if we were complicit when we were young and ignorant, we need to own up. So take opportunity as a teaching moment. How do we do better?

    • Whoa. Do you realize that Cheri was already the victim of two rapes by the time this event occurred? A year later she was not only brutally raped and tortured but almost murdered? You have her as some cheering bro on the sidelines. Both women are survivors of extreme childhood sexual trauma. Both women need to be believed.

      If you want to do better start by reading more about The Runaways history.

  36. Great article, but I really would’ve appreciated a trigger warning at the beginning.
    I never used to understand how helpful and necessary tws are, but they really do help those who may be triggered. Even if we do choose to read the article, we’re prepared.

  37. ‘“Jackie tried to kill herself,” [Lita Ford] chuckles’

    It was clear in Edgeplay that Lita Ford made that comment sarcastically because she didn’t believe it was a suicide attempt, which is why she chuckled.
    She wasn’t chuckling because someone tried to kill herself.

    Also… why is Jett’s statement “unconvincing”, “disappointing” and “dismissive”?
    That’s not how I read it.
    She said Jackie’s story is “extremely upsetting” and wished Jackie “peace and healing”.

    At any rate, I hope that Ms. Fuchs will be well. I hope that she can come to terms with the rape and find peace and happiness.

  38. Good God! Cherie posted a very long description of some maudlin tear-filled, tear-jerking, hours and hours long conversation she had with Fowley a few years back on her Facebook page dated yesterday. The pinnacle of this Fowley remembrance piece (allegedly in honor of his birthday – barf) is where he sobs, humbles himself and asks for her forgiveness for the trauma he caused her.

    That such a great man would humble himself to her and her alone, naturally comes about due to her emotional honesty and superior empathy. She also complains about Jackie making her lose her book deal and pay back her book advance in 2000 because Jackie selfishly didn’t want her to portray her rape as some wild sex show, along with lamenting that for years she paid back taxes for everyone else in the band.

    Of course she wants to reiterate that she confronted Kim during the incident and stormed out of the room. She was the only righteous and just person there folks! She really, really wants the world to know that! There are even more witnesses that could prove this but that danged Huffington Post screwed her over because it’s worthless rag and won’t reveal them.

    She opines that if only Jackie hadn’t prevented her from publishing her account of the Jackie’s brazen sex show in 2000 people could have come forward to challenge her account of the incident. That would have given her time to get her story straight and she never would have reconciled with, and grown to love and adore Fowley. Today she’d look much better in the public eye and her image would not have been tarnished. It really is all about poor Cherie and all Jackie’s fault.

    She closes with wishing that Sandy West ushered Fowley through heaven’s gates.

    “You gave me a lot. You changed my life twice and I’ll always love you for it. I truly hope Sandy West met you at the door. There’s no doubt she made you feel at home.”

  39. I did not realize in high school that the girls were my age. Jukeboxes had been a quarter for years, and “put another dime in the jukebox baby” gave me the impresssion that they were older.

  40. Oh my god, this was traumatizing to read. I feel like someone just kicked me in the stomach.

    Cherie Currie’s narcissistic response, her theatrics, her faux martyrdom, her persecution complex – these are all mind-boggling. How did she manage to make this painful story all about her, Cherie, and how she was now being made to stand trial for crimes against humanity. And still we have no compassion for her!

    Jett’s response is at the very least disheartening; it strikes me as disinterested, fake and impersonal. Peace and healing? She appears to be far more calculating than I believed her to be. The band was my baby, that’s all that matters to me. Wow…

    Overall I am saddened by how unfeeling these women are, how much they’re incapable of solidarity, how they’re only concerned with their own image and career. What a world we live in.

  41. Thanks for this an excellent analysis of much of what went wrong regrading Jackie Fuch’s bravery who’s words a fully believe.

    As someone who grew up around music industry and was a young child in the 1970s I’m concerned about a few things that may been overlooked. I’m a survivor of sexual assault at age 13 and subsequent abusive relationships as an adult as well as racism and classism.

    I thank the collective work your generation has done regarding no longer tolerating so many of the abuses society targets towards women. We still have so far to go but it’s literally like another universe compared to the era I grew up in.

    Were you aware that Cheri Currie was brutally raped at 14 by an adult male in her own bathroom. Then raped again by a famous singer in his mid 20s after being handed over to him by Kim Fowley. Soon after leaving the Runaways she was kidnapped and brutally tortured, raped and almost beaten to death by a man named James Lloyd White. White received legal backing from a well known Hollywood actor (Vic Morrow) and served only one year in county.

    I’m concerned that you either were not aware of this part of Cheri’s history or chose to not include it. It should be included because her trauma and lived experience is also relevant here.

Comments are closed.