The Runaways' Jackie Fox: "My Rape Was Traumatic" for Bandmates Too
"We need to stop doubting the accusers and start holding rapists, abusers and bullies accountable."
Jackie Fox is speaking out about the reaction from fans and her former Runaways' bandmates about allegations that ex-manager Kim Fowley raped her in 1975.
In a Facebook statement posted Sunday, Fox defends those who called her story into question, saying while some people have been "discouraged by the lack of support I've received from my former bandmates," she would like people to understand that her rape was not easy on anyone.
"I can only say that I hope you never have to walk in their shoes," Fox writes of her bandmates. "My rape was traumatic for everyone, not just me, and everyone deals with trauma in their own way and time."
In a recent interview published by The Huffington Post, Fox says Fowley had sedated her with a Quaalude and she remembers opening her eyes to Fowley raping her as other people, including Joan Jett and Cherie Currie, watched. Multiple witnesses corroborate Fox's account in the interview, saying Fowley also penetrated Fox with the handle of a hairbrush.
Fowley died of bladder cancer this past January.
Jett responded to the initial story in a statement, saying, "Anyone who truly knows me understands that if I was aware of a friend or bandmate being violated, I would not stand by while it happened. For a group of young teenagers thrust into '70s rock stardom there were relationships that were bizarre, but I was not aware of this incident. Obviously Jackie’s story is extremely upsetting and although we haven’t spoken in decades, I wish her peace and healing."
For her part, Currie said in a statement, "All I can say is if Joan, Sandy and I saw an unconscious girl being brutally raped in front of us, we would have hit him over the head with a chair." Currie also offered to take a polygraph to prove she is telling the truth.
Victory Tischler-Blue, who replaced Fox, says she remembers other Runaways band members discussing the incident. "They would talk about Kim f—ng Jackie like a dog,” she told The Huffington Post. “It was kind of a running joke."
"All I can say about what was said and done is that my bandmates were children who’d witnessed something criminal and tragic," said Fox in her Facebook post. She said she is disappointed that the story has "become about who knew what when and who did or didn't do what."
"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," Fox says in her latest statement. "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."
Fox also speaks about how difficult it was for her to share her account of that night.
"This was not an easy story for me to tell," Fox writes. "I had to go over the details of the worst night of my life, not once but repeatedly. The writer of the piece, Jason Cherkis, and the Huffington Post’s fact checker handled the questioning with great sensitivity; but in the wake of the Rolling Stone rape-reporting fiasco and the well-known past disagreements among members of the Runaways, they were leaving nothing to chance."
Fox detailed how Cherkis reported out the story by contacting people she hadn't spoken with in decades, diving deep into her past.
The bassist says she was taken aback by "the vitriol" in some people's responses, mainly women. "But their voices were drowned by a chorus of support from women I respect and admire — women like Kathy Valentine, Maureen Herman and Jane Wiedlin," Fox says, adding that she has had multiple people privately message her to share their own stories of rape and abuse.
She concludes her note with a strong statement, urging people to direct their anger at the right people.
"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," Fox says. "What we don’t need to do is point fingers at those who weren’t to blame for their actions."