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The Runaways are best known for being one of the first successful all-female rock groups, and launching Joan Jett into superstardom. But The Huffington Post now reports that the band’s bassist, Jackie Fuchs, was harboring a dark secret that may have contributed to the group’s dissolution and her decision to leave music. Fuchs claimed the band’s manager and founder, Kim Fowley, raped her while other band members and acquaintances watched.

Fuchs, whose stage name was Jackie Fox, described a party that took place after The Runaways’ New Year’s Eve show in Orange County, California in 1975 when she was 16 years old. According to witnesses, she was given Quaaludes during the celebration, before Fowley allegedly asked a roadie in attendance if he would like to have sex with Fuchs.

“You don’t know what terror is until you realize something bad is about to happen to you and you can’t move a muscle,” Fuchs told HuffPost. “I can’t move. I can’t speak. All I can do is look him in the eye and do the best I can do to communicate: please say no… I don’t know what it looked like from the outside. But I know what was going on inside and it was horror.”

Fuchs said she then began to slip in and out of consciousness before Fowley began to rape he. Multiple witnesses told HuffPost that they saw Fowley penetrate Fuchs with the handle of a handbrush and have sex with her. “I remember opening my eyes, Kim Fowley was raping me, and there were people watching me,” Fuchs said. She also reported that bandmates Joan Jett and Cherie Currie were staring at her while the event took place. (Jett’s rep denied that claim to HuffPost.)

Fuchs left the band two years later, and told HuffPost that Fowley and the rape attributed to her exit.

This is the first time Fuchs has spoken about the incident and says she was inspired by recent events in the news to come forward, citing allegations against Bill Cosby and Dr. Luke.

Fowley, who died in January, was lauded as an eccentric fixture in the Los Angeles rock scene, but sources in The Huffington Post’s report cite him as scary, intimidating and on the prowl for young female musicians.

A biopic of the band, The Runaways, hit theaters back in 2010, and starred Kristen Stewart as Jett and Dakota Johnson as Currie. Michael Shannon played Fowley. Fuchs refused to hand over her life rights and the bassist became a fictionalized character played by Alia Shawkat.

The Runaways
  • Movie
  • 105 minutes