Johnny Rotten Responds to Racist Attack Allegations
Mon, 21 Jul 2008 13:44:54
Sex Pistols singer Johnny Rotten has released a statement regarding his entourage's alleged beating of Bloc Party frontman Kele Okereke, an incident that reportedly left him with facial bruises, cuts, and a split lip. In a sprawling response to Okereke's claims, Rotten (real name: John Lydon) wrote, "I feel very sorry for a man that needs to lie about what was a perfect evening … The trouble was brought to us, resulting in those causing the trouble being physically removed by festival security."
Rotten added, "Grow up and learn to be a true man. When you have achieved as much as I have, come back and talk to me."
According to Okereke, the "trouble" arose when he asked the former Public Image Ltd. singer whether that band would ever reunite. Instead of answering the question, Rotten allegedly became "intimidating and aggressive," with his security team stepping in to hit Okereke and say, "your problem is your black attitude." Guitarist Yannis Philippakis of Foals and vocalist Ricky Wilson of the Kaiser Chiefs tried to help Okereke and later confirmed the incident.
"It's not an issue of the physical assault, even though it was an unprovoked attack, it is the fact that race was brought into the matter so readily," Okereke said in his own statement. "Someone as respected and as intelligent as Lydon should know better than to bring race into the equation, or socialize with and encourage those who hold such narrow-minded attitudes. I am disappointed that someone I held with such high regard turns out to be such a bigot."
—The ARTISTdirect Staff