Oh will the tales of rape and sexual assault among Hollywood men never stop? Between Bill Cosby, R. Kelly and Woody Allen, one was hoping that there might be a reprieve from the tales of misogynistic horror within the entertainment industry. And while the rumors about Kim Fowley sexually abusing members of The Runaways are nothing new, the lurid confirmations of his behavior only serves to accent the horror of being a woman–famous or not.
Fowley’s specific torment of guitarist-turned-bassist Jackie Fox (real name Jackie Fuchs) has been revealed in lurid detail. Building up to the night of New Year’s Eve 1975 after The Runaways played their first gig at an Orange County haunt called Wild Man Sam’s, we’re given a glimpse into Fowley’s chance to prey. To celebrate the triumph, their manager/producer takes all the girls back (save for Lita Ford) to a motel to celebrate. It is there that Fox is instructed to take a Quaalude and is given several more in a short period of time. Her inevitable unconsciousness leads to Fowley raping her as though it’s a spectacle on the motel bed in front of everyone. Descriptions of him impersonating (or maybe just being) some sort of sex-crazed feral dog are accounted for.
With all the numerous “revelers” in attendance, no one did anything to prevent what was happening to Fox, who would later attribute this to something called the bystander effect. Because of her youth and shame over the incident–as well as fellow bandmates Cherie Curry and Joan Jett making no indication that anything was wrong with what had occurred–Fox pushed the night aside and continued to record and tour with The Runaways until 1977 when she had an emotional breakdown in Japan.
Fowley’s subsequent elevation to rock god status upon his death seems unjust to say the least, but in some small way, it appears Fox has finally found peace by acknowledging what happened to her all those years ago.