The band KISS is being sued by their former hairstylist for wrongful termination.
In court documents obtained exclusively by The Blast, David Mathews is suing Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, and KISS’ manager, “Doc” McGhee, for wrongful termination and retaliation.
KISS Rockers Sued By Former Hairstylist Alleging Wrongful Termination
According to the court documents obtained by The Blast, David Mathew was hired in 1992 as a hairstylist. His primary job was to apply and style the stage wigs that the KISS band is known for.
Mathew claims that he continued styling wigs for the “I Was Made For Lovin’ You” band for “the entire duration of his employment.” In addition to styling wings, Mathew also claims that he took on the responsibility of overseeing the wardrobe department and dressing room teams.
However, in or around 2012, Mathew claims that KISS changed his employment status about twenty years after he first started in the position. Mathew claims that they changed his status from an employee to that of an independent contractor.
Former Hairstylist Accused Of Bashing Kiss For ‘Lax Covid Protocols’
It seems that the change in his employment status wasn’t the only thing that Mathew was unhappy about. In the court papers, the former hairstylist claims that both Gene Simmons and “Doc” McGhee accused him of being one of the individuals who had been interviewed by Rolling Stone for the article, “Couldn’t Believe How Unsafe It Was’: KISS’ Roadies Blame Lax Covid Protocols for Guitar Tech’s Death.”
Mathew claims that several individuals had complained to McGhee and Paul Stanley about the guitar tech’s illness. The band and McGhee were reported to be “extremely upset” that some crew members had anonymously spoken with the publication.
Things seemed to take another turn for the worse ten years after Mathews claims that his employment status was changed from an employee to an independent contractor. On April 20, 2022, Mathew claims that Gene Simmons arrived at the venue for the next show scheduled on tour in Argentina with flu-like symptoms.
Although Simmons said he felt fine at the time, Mathews noted that Simmons was coughing, sneezing, and blowing his nose in the dressing room when Mathew was putting on his wig, styling his hair, and touching up his makeup. At the same time, the wardrobe team was also helping Simmons put on his costume.
At this time, Mathew claims that Simmons tested positive for COVID-19. Mathews was reported to be “very concerned” by the COVID protocols and decisions put in place by the management team.
It’s worth noting that, in August 2021, The Blast was one of the first to report that KISS had to postpone their tour after Gene Simmons tested positive for COVID-19. Fortunately, he was reported as only experiencing “mild” symptoms at that time.
Former KISS Hairstylist Claims That The Crew Was Instructed To Try To Fool The COVID-19 Test
If that wasn’t enough, David Mathews claims that “Doc” McGhee instructed him and other crew members to ingest excessive doses of Steriwave in an attempt to “fool the test” so they could fly commercially to Colombia for the next show on the tour.
At the time, it was reported that you could spend up to a year in prison if you flew commercially while knowingly testing positive for COVID-19. According to the legal documents, Mathews began to question the validity of the test results that he received. Before he came back to the U.S. to perform five scheduled shows, he and other crew members all tested negative for COVID-19.
Approximately one month later, on May 19, 2022, “Doc” McGhee informed Mathews that the band was thinking of making a change in his department specifically because of the allegations made in the Rolling Stone magazine article about lax COVID-19 policies in place at the time.
According to the court documents, “Doc” McGhee accused David Mathews of betraying the band and being disloyal to them by participating in the anonymous interview from the publication. Mathews maintains that he did not participate in the article and that he showed his loyalty by serving the band for thirty years, even despite the change in his employment status.
On May 27, 2022, two days before he was scheduled to fly to Europe with KISS, “Doc” McGhee allegedly told Mathews that the band had decided to bring in a person to replace him and terminated his employment.
Now, Mathews is suing for unpaid wages, overtime, restitution of all monies due to the plaintiff, and disgorged profits from the unlawful business practice of the employer defendants.