Jackie Fox: Don’t scapegoat the Runaways

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Jackie Fox has asked supporters to avoid criticising her former Runaways bandmates for their apparent lack of support after her rape allegation.

Last week she told how band impresario Kim Fowley had raped her in a hotel room while a number of people including Joan Jett and Cherie Currie watched. Since publication, both have denied being witnesses to any such event.

Jett said: “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. 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.”

Currie said: “I have been accused of a crime. Of looking into the dead yet pleading eyes of a girl, unable to move while she was brutally raped and doing nothing. I have never been one to deny my mistakes in life and I wouldn’t start now. If I were guilty, I would admit it. When I return from Sweden I will seek a qualified polygraph examiner to put to rest any and all allegations. I will make public the questions, answers and results of that test. I will prove I am telling the truth. I will not allow anyone to throw me under the bus and accuse me of such a foul act.”

Fox has responded by saying: “I know some people watching the 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 apologised to me for their inaction that night — apologies that have been unnecessary, though welcome.”

Referencing claims about how the attack was discussed after she’d left the band, Fox says: “All I can say about what was said and done is that my bandmates were children who’d witnessed something criminal and tragic. I’ve no doubt they were dealing with it as best they were able. They had no responsible adults to guide them – only a rapist and his apologists.”

But she adds that she wants the focus to remain upon Fowley’s actions, rather than those of the Runaways. “If I am disappointed in one thing, it is that the story has become about who knew what when and who did or didn’t do what,” she says. “That isn’t the story at all.

“It would be nice if everyone who was there the night I was raped could talk about how it has affected them over the years. But if they don’t want to talk it about, I respect that. It’s taken me years to talk about it without shame. I can only imagine what it must have been like to have watched it happen.”

She continues: “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.”