KISS star Gene Simmons and former Playboy Playmate Shannon Tweed have lived together for 28 years and have two children together, but their long relationship may have reached its end. Last night’s season opener of their reality show Gene Simmons Family Jewels ended with Tweed packing up and leaving their home after a series of arguments about his rock and roll lifestyle.
Tuesday’s episode was uncharacteristically serious for the show, which usually takes a light-hearted look at the lives of the Simmons family and their father’s unusual profession. It opened with Tweed taking the couple’s daughter Sophie off to college, a momentous event the rocker missed because of business, and then proceeded to show the workaholic musician miss dinner with his family for yet another business meeting to promote one of his many outside interests. Leaving the restaurant where his meeting took place, Simmons was photographed with several young women and the pictures made their way to the front page of TMZ, where a friend texted Tweed to take a look.
It proved to be the last straw for the actress and model, who has endured many years of painful public speculation about Simmons’ infidelities. The KISS bassist has publicly claimed to have had sex with more than 4600 women in the course of his touring career, and Tweed has always brushed that claim aside as part of his public persona and desire to feed his rock star image, but in 2008 a sex tape featuring Simmons and model Traci Anna Koval leaked onto the Internet, making it impossible for her to ignore the situation any longer. “I’m sick of hearing it, I’m sick of seeing it and I’m sick of living with it,” she told Simmons.
In last night’s show Tweed demanded that Simmons see a therapist to get to the root of his wandering eye and workaholic lifestyle. In a tense confrontation at the therapist’s office Tweed said that she had cried every day for the last three years, adding that the rock star had no regard for her, their children or his own mother as long as he was able to do exactly as he pleased. She stormed out of the session, and when Simmons arrived home she had already packed and left.
“Part of me expected it,” a seemingly mystified Simmons told his therapist, “and part of me thought it would never happen.”
Along with this week’s combative media appearances, that might seem to indicate that the couple’s relationship is truly over, but many have speculated the whole thing has been contrived as part of a big ratings grab. In response to a fan’s question along those lines Tweed tweeted yesterday, “NOT BS! No relationship is perfect.We hit a rough patch and we’re showing it.Working it out. Watch or not.”
Another indicator of how things might turn out is the fact that Simmons’ official website is currently advertising a July 22 appearance at the River Rock Casino Resort that’s billed as ‘Gene Simmons & Family Live,’ in which Simmons, Tweed and their two children will appear live onstage together for the first time. According to the casino’s website,”During the evening, they’ll be sharing their many stories and some laughs followed by a Q&A with the audience!”