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Devo co-founder, singer and bassist Gerald Vincent “Jerry” Casale, 67, was married to Krista Napp, 26, on Friday, Sept. 11, in a modest ceremony, but thanks to the 9/11-themed reception that followed, the response to the event has been anything but.
On Monday morning (Sept. 14), TMZ ran photos from Casale and Napp’s intimate reception at Michael’s Restaurant in Santa Monica, Calif., showing the newlyweds cutting their wedding cake, which was shaped like the World Trade Center’s twin towers with their faces drawn on. Place settings featured an image of a box cutter with “Gerald & Krista” engraved on them, and guests actually got real box cutters as wedding favors, all of which provoked considerable criticism online.
“I apologize to anyone who offended,” Casale told Billboard, saying the theme was all a surprise to him and his bride. He said the media attention it’s received has “ruined our wedding.”
Casale explained that the couple had gotten married on Sept. 11 because the Beverly Hills courthouse is only open on Fridays, and that was the last Friday available before their marriage application expired. The wedding was just the two of them and a witness, and the reception was for about 20 of their closest friends.
While Casale said some of his friends had commented on whether it was appropriate for them to get married on the 14-year anniversary of the September 11 attacks, calling it “macabre,” he would respond that he and Napp “are the Twin Towers of love.” Casale cited Donald Trump‘s original proposal to rebuild the two towers on the same site as a “f— you to anyone who threatens our way of life or freedom to live.”
Casale said one friend who heard that explanation offered to take care of the cake and wound up surprising the couple after dinner with the controversial design and party favors.
The place settings, Casale noted, were at dinner, and while he thought “that was pretty nasty…we thought that the was the end of the reference.” When it came time for dessert and they moved to a backroom, they saw there was still more.
“He thought it was some sort of transgressive sick humor, and the problem is, it’s not funny,” Casale said of the friend who planned it all.
The newlyweds took a honeymoon in Joshua Tree, Calif., over the weekend without any cell phone service, and Casale returned home Monday morning to a media maelstrom. He said he was particularly troubled that one of his guests might have sold photos to TMZ.
“OK, that’s bad taste,” he said of the surprise theme, “but who would have thought that somebody goes and sells shots to TMZ?”
Casale continued, saying he was “surprised at the attention” this is receiving given all the other issues in the news right now, such as the migrant crisis in Europe, Boko Haram, and other matters he called “the pure gravity of the horror out there.”
This story first appeared on Billboard.com.
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