The Runaways‘ songwriter Kari Krome has sued the estate of Kim Fowley and former KROQ DJ and club owner Rodney Bingenheimer for sexual assault of a minor.

As reported by Rolling Stone, Krome – real name Cari Lee Mitchell – filed the lawsuit accusing both Fowley and Bingenheimer of sexually assaulting her when she was 13.

According to the suit, Krome alleges that both Fowley and Bingenheimer groomed her before sexually abusing her.

Mitchell also shared the impact these allegations have had on her for years. “You can come to a conclusion or think that something isn’t right, but if you’re speaking on something too soon, a lot of times you’ll get nothing but blowback, and you have to wait until the time is right,” she told Rolling Stone.

“I never shut up about it. Just nobody wanted to hear it. Nobody seemed to care. We’re still looking at these characters through a lens of glamorisation of that era and that scene instead of looking at them through a lens of doing things that are criminal.”

Kim Fowley. Credit: Getty


The suit obtained by Variety stated: “When Plaintiff was approximately 13 and 14 and 15 years old, Defendant Rodney Bingenheimer and Defendant Kim Fowley used their roles, status, and power as adults, as well as their connections to and work in the music industry to gain access to manipulate, exploit, and sexually assault Plaintiff in the State of California, County of Los Angeles.

“As a result of Defendant Rodney Bingenheimer’s and Defendant Kim Fowley’s sexual abuse and assault, Plaintiff has suffered severe emotional, physical and psychological distress, including shame, and guilt, economic loss, economic capacity and emotional loss.”

This is not the first time Fowley has been accused of sexual assault. In 2015, The Runaways bassist Jackie Fuchs talked about her experience at the hands of Fowley in a piece published by the Huffington Post

She shared how he took the band to a hotel near the Wild Man Sam’s club after a New Year’s show there in 1975 and claimed that she was given a number of Quaalude sedatives, something witnesses can verify, and heard Fowley ask one of the crew members at the party if they would like to have sex with her. He declined but she said she remembers “opening my eyes, Kim Fowley was raping me, and there were people watching me.”

Mitchell’s attorney Karen Menzies described Bingenheimer’s English Disco, his club that he owned on the sunset strip in Los Angeles, as “a clearinghouse for grooming underaged girls and serving them to rock stars,” adding that “he assaulted the girls themselves.”

“Kim Fowley’s death did not undo all the trauma he has caused. Fowley’s legacy includes the rape of underaged girls, and the law finally allows survivors to seek justice,” she added.

Menzies continued: “We’re going to show that neither time nor old age, not even death, will allow rich, powerful men in the music industry to escape the sins of their past. Rodney has enjoyed the false reputation of a sweet, innocent friend to rock stars, when in reality he was the source for the exploitation and sexual assault of underage girls.”

Fowley passed in 2015 at the age of 75. He rose to prominence in the ’60s after working with several big name acts including Gene Vincent, KISS, Alice Cooper, Leon Russell and Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers.

He famously recruited The Runaways in 1975 by placing an advertisement in Los Angeles fanzine Who Put the Bomp, and ended up producing the band’s 1976 self-titled debut album and co-writing their biggest hit ‘Cherry Bomb’.

The post Kim Fowley’s Estate is being sued by Runaways’ songwriter for sexual assault appeared first on NME.


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