Lita Ford, a former member of the pioneering '70s all-female rock band THE RUNAWAYS, says that she was unaware off original RUNAWAYS bassist Jackie Fox's claim that she was raped by the group's notorious manager, Kim Fowley. In her account of the incident, Fox — whose real name is Jackie Fuchs — claimed that at least two of her bandmates in THE RUNAWAYS, Joan Jett and Cherie Currie, were both witnesses to her brutal attack at the hands of Fowley, but did nothing to intervene or help.
Speaking to the WHMH (Rockin' 101) radio station, Lita said how she first found out about Jackie's allegations (hear audio below): "I got a phone call from a journalist who just started screaming at me about THE RUNAWAYS and I had no idea what he was talking about. I hadn't read the tabloids and I didn't know what was going on. He just started screaming at me. And I'm, like, 'Dude, you have a serious issue.'"
Lita went on to say: "Honestly, I was not there when this happened, as Jackie says it did, so I really can't tell you much. When you do read my [upcoming] book, you'll see that I never really hung out with Joan or Cherie [Currie], and whatever went on between Joan and Cherie kind of stayed between Joan and Cherie. Scott Anderson, who was the manager, along with Kim Fowley… Scott went on tour with us. So if anybody knew anything, it would have been Scott, Cherie and Joan, and Scott now is passed away, along with Kim Fowley. But I do know that Jackie's not a liar, and if she says that somebody was watching her, and if she says that this happened, then I believe her; I do. She's a little extreme sometimes, but still… it's not right. I really don't know what to say about it. I wasn't there, and no one told me about it. This is the first I've heard of it."
Ford also talked about her current relationship with Currie and Jett after a photo of the three of them was taken at the 2014 edition of the Revolver Golden Gods Awards. She said: "There was one picture taken of me and Cherie and Joan at the Golden Gods Awards — one picture. And Cherie and I had gone to go see Joan, because she was getting an award and we thought we'd pay our respects. And I hadn't seen Joan in decades. Cherie has, but I hadn't. And when we went in to see Joan, she gave us a t-shirt, took one quick picture and said goodbye. And that was it — one picture [which is] circulating around."
According to Lita, there has been no talk about a possible RUNAWAYS reunion, despite the fact that she and Cherie have publicly expressed their desire to resurrect the group.
"Joan doesn't want anything to do with it, which… I think she's wrong," Ford explained. "'Cause now is the perfect time, and we would all love to see it now. There was a time when they called me and asked me for a RUNAWAYS reunion, but it was early '90s — NIRVANA was just kicking in, and it was really bad timing; it wouldn't have worked. People would have just turned their nose up at it. But now, to do it now, I think now is the perfect time. And I'm all for it, Cherie was all for it. We never spoke to Jackie about it, because we couldn't get Joan's approval. Had we gotten Joan's approval, we would have spoke to Jackie. But we couldn't get a 'yes' or a 'no' out of Joan."
Ford also discussed the status of her long-awaited autobiography, "Lita Ford - Living Like A Runaway: A Memoir", which is now set to arrive in March 2016 via Dey Street Books (formerly It Books), an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.
"We pushed [the release date] back," she said. "We had to change a couple of things, and I've been on the waiting list to be distributed. HarperCollins, they have other artists, so they do one artist at a time. So we picked March. We figured it'd be out of the way, [after] the holidays. Otherwise it was November or October. We thought, 'Nah, it's too close to the holidays. Let the holidays go by and then we'll release the book.'"
It is important to note that Jett and Currie have responded to Fox's allegations on social media, and both have refuted their former bandmate's claims. "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," Jett stated on the JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS Facebook page. "For a group of young teenagers thrust into '70s rock stardom there were relationships that were bizarre, but 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 released her own comments about Fox's accusations. She wrote on her Facebook page: "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. There are so many excuses I could make being only one month into my sixteenth year at the time that people would understand, but I am innocent. 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."