The Day ‘the Elephant Joined the Band’: A Rape Hidden in the Runaways’ History

From reporter Jason Cherkis and the Huffington Post’s new Highline magazine comes a devastating story about ’70s teen rock band the Runaways. Bassist Jackie Fuchs reveals that early in the band’s history, she was drugged and raped by their producer Kim Fowley in front of several bandmates, including Joan Jett. She stayed silent for decades. (Jett is not commenting.)

Jackie showed up at the next band practice some days later, not ready to stop being a Runaway. Although she was nervous about how her bandmates would treat her, she at least expected them to acknowledge that something bad had happened. But the girls hardly registered her presence. They just plugged in and started running through their songs. That was the day, Jackie says, “the elephant joined the band.”

Jackie took her bandmates’ silence to mean that she should keep quiet, too. “I didn’t know if anybody would have backed me,” she says. “I knew I would be treated horribly by the police—that I was going to be the one that ended up on trial more than Kim. I carried this sense of shame and of thinking it was somehow my fault for decades.”

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