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CASTING CORNER
 
Tuesday, April 30, 2002
Gene Simmons

Onstage, he's a maniac in makeup. It’s “Extra's” first full day torturing the Simmons family with our cameras. Kiss fans have never seen their rock idol like this.

Shannon, a former centerfold, is Gene's live-in lover of 18 years. Nick, their son, is 13. Nick says, “The first time I saw my dad in makeup, I screamed my head off.”

Their daughter Sophie is 9. Today, mom doesn't like that her little girl is wearing makeup. Shannon says, “Every once in a while she'll test the limits.”

Who'd have thought in the house that Kiss built, that makeup a no-no. Mom is strict, but wait until you hear from dad. He says, “You're not to smoke, you're not going to drink, and by the way, you're not going to say ‘wazzup.’"

This is a house of rules. But when mom drops off the kids, and Gene isn't watching, she's ready to break his rules. Shannon says, “This is normally where I light up a cigarette.”

Dad drives himself to work while mom walks the dogs. Work for Gene means rehearsal for the upcoming Dick Clark “American Bandstand” special. And while Gene's in full Kiss face, Sophie, now home from school, goes right for the makeup. Could this be another makeup maniac in the making? When dad gets home, he approves. He says, “It really looks pretty.

Nobody has time to cook, so it's Chinese food with relatives in Beverly Hills, where mom worries about Sophie’s cosmetic crisis. She says, “Our nine-year-old daughter put eye shadow on both nights in a row. Now it looks like I’m the worst mother in the world.”

Back at the mansion there are more hijinks. But even playtime has rules and you're not allowed to say the "m" word, as in marriage, because gene doesn’t believe in it. He says, “Commitment sounds like a nuthouse. If I want to have a harem, I will.”

But Gene, you've been living with the same woman for 18 years and you have two kids together. That sounds like commitment to us.

 


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