What’s Really Going On With Shannon Tweed & Gene Simmons?

The sixth season of Gene Simmons’ Family Jewels began airing this week on A&E.  Up to this point in the series, despite occasional moments of tension between the heads of the household, everything seemed reasonably calm and happy with the unmarried couple and their remarkably well-adjusted kids.

Not anymore.  After Tuesday night’s episode concluded, it sure looked like splitsville for longtime Kiss co-founder Gene Simmons and his girlfriend (or common-law wife, if you prefer) of almost 30 years, former Playboy Playmate and direct-to-video sex siren Shannon Tweed.

After being sent an online report that featured a photo of Simmons exiting a restaurant with two beautiful women on his arm, Tweed confronted her man who proclaimed his innocence and claimed not even to know who the women were.  Smooth, dude.

Saying she had had enough, by the end of the episode, Tweed left behind a note, packed some of her belongings and departed from the family home.  Despite resisting at first, Simmons started on-air therapy for the first time since the first season five years ago.  Who knows if he’ll take it seriously this time.  (He doesn’t believe in it.  He needs to give Howard Stern a call.)

The whole sad episode was quite perplexing if you’ve followed this series from the beginning as I have.  For years, despite being rightly annoyed with his chronic workaholic ways, Tweed seemed perfectly ok with Simmons’ endless business trips (especially since she often rang up ridiculously huge bills on his credit cards while he was away).  Despite Simmons’ tendency to always have babes by his side (an admittedly transparent attempt at wooing potential clients and business partners), Tweed never once indicated embarrassment, hurt feelings, resentment or even jealousy about any of this.  Everything seemed kosher.

In fact, she told TMZ a few years ago that she was perfectly ok with Simmons hanging with babes while making personal appearances and doing deals.  So, why on Earth is she suddenly so bent out of shape about that photo?  What’s really going on?

As of now, we don’t really know for sure.  (Judging by the A&E promos, it looks like the whole season of Family Jewels will be about this mess.)  But the couple’s recent promotional appearances have certainly given us lots of room to speculate. 

While being interviewed for The Today Show recently, Shannon noted the difficulties of her relationship over the last two years.  (They were “a bitch”, she succinctly surmised.)  During the premiere she appeared to have stated that Nicholas, her son, may have been the result of an unplanned pregnancy and seemed to imply that she stayed with Simmons much longer than she planned to as a result.  Isn’t that lovely.

One thing I’ve never completely understood about their relationship is why Tweed stays with Simmons in the first place if she truly wants to be married since he has never expressed an interest in doing that.  There have been plenty of jokes about this throughout the show’s history but one wonders if there’s a lot of truth behind the constant ribbing.

Getting back to the original point, what’s with the recent tension between them?  As Tweed mentioned on The Today Show, their recent problems go back just a couple of years.  What could’ve been the source of that tension?  Oh, I could think of one possibility.

It was late February 2008.  A mysterious new website called Genessecret.com suddenly sprang up out of nowhere.  It offered a badly lit, black and white sex tape allegedly featuring Simmons getting it on with “an Australian marketing ‘babe’ named Elsa”. 

Unsurprisingly, Simmons’ legal team had some work to do.  They succeeded in having the site taken down (a flawed, cached version can still be accessed via The Internet Archive Wayback Machine) but stories and stills about the sex tape remain widely available online.  (Just Google or Bing “Gene Simmons sex tape” to find a multitude of links.)

A contradictory letter from Simmons’ attorney Barry Mallen was sent to ValleyWag.com ordering the site to compensate for the “unauthorized use” of “Mr. Simmons’ name and likeness” (essentially confirming his identity on the tape) and to remove the video itself as well as the posted still photos.  (In other words, only Simmons was entitled to make money off his own stupidity.) 

Furthermore, Mallen claimed that the video was made “without Mr. Simmons’ knowledge by a woman named Traci Ann Koval” (I guess “Elsa” was her stage name) and that she had no right to sell it because Simmons and a company called Allied Industry Tours were its rightful owners.  (Did Tweed know about this alleged deal?) 

But at the very end of the letter, Mallen claims with zero irony none of the information provided “constitutes an admission of fact or waiver of any right”.  Nice try.

Could this be the reason why Tweed has been crying the last few years (albeit off-camera since this has never been seen or mentioned on the show before) and why the very idea of seeing Simmons just walk out of a public place with other women on his arms irritates her to no end?

It wouldn’t surprise me in the least.  It also wouldn’t surprise me if any or all of this is merely exaggerated schtick to drum up interest in Family Jewels, an aging “reality series” not likely to last much longer.  (The show has been on the air twice as long as The Osbournes.)  In fact, there’s been much skepticism in the media about the sincerity of all this tension which Tweed, Simmons and even A&E insist isn’t fake.

Regardless, even though it often feels like a neatly (and suspiciously) plotted sitcom and its most famous participant’s faux arrogance can be too much to bear at times, Family Jewels has remained very funny and very entertaining.  In fact, you don’t have to be a Kiss fan to get into it.

But a lot of that wit and familial joy was missing in action during the sixth season premiere.  Also notably absent was any real insight into Tweed’s anger and despair over that photo she was sent. 

One thing that is certain.  There has been no official break-up announcement.  (If they have broken up privately, no one is talking about it.)  Among the descriptions Tweed has listed on Twitter for herself, “Gene Simmons’ love” is still right there after “Mom”.

In the end, it really doesn’t matter whether they stay together or not and whether their show is completely real, somewhat real or totally reenacted.  Their future on and off the air are their business (and theirs alone despite all this publicity) and the show works despite not always being completely honest and naturally spontaneous.

That being said, I have one last question.  If Simmons did in fact cheat on Tweed (as evidenced by the sex tape which no one disputes), how in the hell did he pass that lie detector test on Adam Carolla’s radio show?

Dennis Earl
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Saturday, June 18, 2011
12:04 a.m.

Published in: on June 18, 2011 at 12:04 am  Comments (26)  

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26 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I think he was asked if he had ever “made love” with any other woman, not did he “have sex”. Maybe that’s the difference for Gene.

    This could be a build up to a marriage proposal in the end.

    • Bravo! The difference between sex and “making love” is something that most people do not understand.

    • Yep, it is exactly what he said. And I thought, hmmmm, there is a difference; especially for men!

      • yep but it is something stupid that the guys use to manipulate, coz, if I say to a man that im gonna have sex he will say that im a bitch, so this rules about love making vs sex just works for men, so dont be hypocrite.

  2. If i was shannon i would not take him back because i just watched the video and it is gene having sex with that slut

    • where that video?

    • i wouldn’t rather and i watch it to he does not deserve her

  3. Actually I just saw the lie detector episode. The question is whether he “slept” with any other woman. I didn’t see any sleeping going on in that video..

  4. [...] In an earlier piece, I speculated that the real reason Shannon has been angry at Gene was because of a sex tape he appeared in three years ago which he unsuccessfully tried to keep private.  Throughout the season, Shannon and even her son, Nick, have noted that the last few years have been difficult.  So, why hasn’t anyone mentioned the sex tape?  Is it really that much of a taboo subject for a reality show that has pointedly promoted this estrangement? [...]

  5. The existence of the sex tape certainly explains why Shannon was upset over the nightclub pic and the two girls sitting on his lap at the hockey game in Canada. She is just tired of being the last to know I guess and it casts doubt on everything he has ever said and done in his relationship with her. I can see that Nick, who adored him, is crushed by this revelation and what it has done to Sophie is hard to tell because her world is now changed completely. How embarrassing for her at school. And she is caught between her mother and her father with no way out. I always wondered how this man could resist all the women around him but I don’t have to wonder any longer; he didn’t. Even if he marries Shannon that won’t change anything fundamentally unless he has some idea in his head that it’s not okay for a married man to sleep with other women. There are people who can pass a lie detector test and Gene being as strong willed as he is must be one of them. Or, there was something going on behind the scenes we don’t know about. Money can buy anything.

  6. I just feel really disgusted right now. I watched the clips of the sex tape and was trying hard to see anything that did not look like Gene…from the neck up, but it does look like him. Didn’t the lawyers claim the tape was using his name and likeness? Because I have not ever heard anything about Gene being with other women sexually, I thought the lie detector test was true. I was so happy that a man of his caliber was able to not cheat, although it was being thrown at him left and right. I want to believe this tape was a fake, but it sure does look like him. I actually feel nauseated right now. How could he just throw away all those years? I guess he honestly thought he would never get caught I suppose. Shannon has been faithful and stayed right with him all these years, absorbed in their children and being a good mother. She doesn’t deserve to be treated like this. How embarrassed I feel for her. If this whole possible break up is just a ploy to get more people to watch their show, then I am going to be livid because right now I feel nothing but heart ache for Shannon, as well as Nick and Sophie. A ploy to get better ratings will be the one thing that will cause me to not ever watch the show again. If it is real, I hope Shannon thinks enough about herself to get out because “normal” men who cheat usually, not always, but usually do not ever change. It leads to the woman feeling depressed and like she isn’t worth him being faithful. IF Gene can be faithful and Shannon wants to try to work it out, then I hope Gene has enough class and sense to realize what he has…and what he could loose. Those whores aren’t worth loosing his family. What does it say about the women he is with when they KNOW he has been with Shannon all these years? It shows they are nothing but sluts that want to say they had sex with Gene Simmons. Wow. Isn’t that something to be proud of and want to tell your kids??? Like Shannon says…grow up Gene, or you will grow to be an old, empty man. I’m SO disappointed in you Gene, although I do realize you don’t care. I truly thought you were one of a kind. Now, I see you’re like all the rest. I would have more respect for you if you would man up and 100% commit to Shannon and your kids. Let it go Gene. You’ve made your money. Your mother would be so proud of you if you did the right thing. I thought you’d never want to hurt her. What do you think this has done to her??? Think about it…..

    • Let me tell you I loved seeing Simmons sQuirm when Shannon went lout to dinner with her ex boyfriend. His name was John, stand up guy. Real good small town guy..I saw him put his arm around Shannon “jokingly!”And the proposal? HEY SIMMONS- EVER HEARD THE SAYING A DAY LATE AND A DOLLAR SHORT ? I hope it works out but really Shan ya could do better in the 80′s, you can do better now

  7. [...] Family Jewels began airing its sixth season just a few months ago, I wrote a piece entitled What’s Really Going On With Shannon Tweed and Gene Simmons?.  Taken aback by the events depicted in the season premiere, I speculated on why Shannon [...]

  8. He was definitely asked in the lie detector whether or not he had made love to anyone other then tweed, now how is this the issue now cause if shannon was upset enough then to have him take a lie detector you think she would have googled the tape back then. Maybe she is just upset she’s the last to know but marrying him isn’t going to change his behaviour, he needs serious therapy

    • Hey………it’s horatio again.:……let me tell you someone else who ness therapy ALL OF GENES GOSHDOGGONIT PERSONALITIES!!! Let me tell u shayadani he tots needs to give Shan a mirror so she can see that she can do wayyyyyyyyyyy better than him. Not moneywise tho. But all money bought Simmons is hoes who would actually speak to his weird ass

  9. He is a pig he has a great family and look what he did gross grow up……

    • Didn’t Shannon say that she would sleep with George Clooney if Gene wasn’t around?
      She also said that she was only with him coz he is a rock star.

      It makes me feel better about myself that I have been loved for particular reason of my heart where Gene Simmons has not.

  10. [...] though it was written in June, What’s Really Going On With Shannon Tweed & Gene Simmons? continues to be actively sought out and remains the most popular blog posting here, by far.  [...]

  11. I was SO HAPPY to see that Gene FINALLY seems to “get it” with what he has done to his family/Shannon all these years. He has NEEDED therapy for years. I have always loved Gene and KISS, but was TOATLLY disgusted and disappointed at the tape of him. I truly felt nauseated and could only watch a few seconds. I KNOW Shannon deserved BETTER, much better than to be done that way. I realize men and women to this to one another all the time, but Gene and his family are celebrities, which puts it out in the public eye. What makes me even more irritated at Gene is he knew this when HE CHOSE to put his family on “Family Jewels”, and was ARROGANT enough to feel he would not get caught. What is wrong with you Gene? Anyway, I am VERY HAPPY as a fan that he chose to FINALLY do the right thing by marrying Shannon and choosing to stop all the dusgustung, slutty affairs with the nasty women. I TRULY hopes he makes the right choices in the future and continues to be faithful to Shannon, as HE DECLARED he will be. He has a lot of making up to do to her and their children. I wish there was some way for Gene and Shannon to be able to read, or want to read, sites such as this one. If so, I would like to say: Gene, you have a LOT MORE RESPECT from your TRUE FANS now that you have chosen to be a true man, an HONORABLE man, and I pray that you do as you have promised Shannon and your children. Shannon, I hope you REALIZE that YOU are a catch, and that you NEVER tolerate his infidelity again. You, as all women (or men) deserve to be in a relationship that the partner is faithful. EVERYONE has the right to choose a life without deception and to CHOOSE to not contract an STD by being deceived by their partner, everyone.

  12. [...] was the hook for What’s Really Going On With Shannon Tweed & Gene Simmons?.  Apparently, it was a strong one judging by all the hits it was already generating in that first [...]

  13. [...] Not Have "Humped and Grinded" that Woman …Is Gene Simmons a Liar? | The Rim Of HellWhat’s Really Going On With Shannon Tweed & Gene Simmons …Gene Simmons Responds to Internet Sex Tape | Fox NewsGene Simmons Family Jewels: Was the [...]

  14. Bc they asked him if he, “slept with any other women since he has been with Shannon Tweed.” Similar to his response when he was asked his real name, which is Chaim, not Gene – interpreting it via literalism, he not having “slept” w other woman, may be true, if in his mind sleeping w his partner is intimate, and when that line is not crossed, there is no emotional attachment. Therefor, since he was not “lying,” he was able to pass the lie detector test.

  15. [...] What’s Really Going On With Shannon Tweed & Gene Simmons? [...]

  16. [...] 2011, the biggest piece of the year was What’s Really Going On With Shannon Tweed & Gene Simmons?.  During its first six months online (mid-June to late December last year), it generated exactly [...]

  17. […] of popular pieces, What’s Really Going On With Shannon Tweed And Gene Simmons? remains the most accessible entry in this website’s entire history for the third straight […]

  18. Shannon loves him and after 30 years together, you forgive even if it hurts. She is way too good for him. But he is the father of her kids and she wants their family together. He’s pig and he’s a jerk! and those kids take after HER. Good thing


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