According to the Nashville Scene, the domestic-abuse case against former KISS guitarist Vinnie Vincent (real name Vincent John Cusano) has been temporarily “retired.” It appears that Vincent has struck a deal with the state of Tennessee, temporarily retiring the case for a year, eventually giving the guitarist an opportunity to “petition the Court to dismiss [the] case and expunge the pertinent records as provided by law,” in exchange for undergoing eight hours of anger-management therapy.
Vincent was scheduled to appear in Rutherford County Criminal Court tomorrow to answer aggravated domestic assault charges stemming from a May 21, 2011 incident when his wife Diane accused him of hitting her in the face, throwing her to the ground, and dragging her through broken glass following an argument.
Vincent released a statement calling published reports of last month’s events “not true.” He went on to say, “Irresponsible reporting and fabrication of events that never happened destroys people’s lives, and that is exactly what has happened.” He also attempted to clear up reports about the four dead dogs packed up in plastic containers police found strewn throughout his home after answering a call from his wife. He said, “I have 20 dogs that were rescued since 1999 from unspeakable and horrible abuse. I never turned my back or said no if a dog or cat needed a loving home. Each one of them is spoiled rotten; great food, love, comfort, care and shelter. They never leave my side and sit with me when I watch videos or when I play my guitar, the sound of which seems to fascinate them.
“Fencing was put up to separate the big dogs from the little ones who could roam without any problem. One day, without my knowing, some of the big dogs accidently [sic] got loose somehow and killed three of my babies. When I found out, it was too late. I was shattered and just too devastated for words.
“I wrapped them each in blankets and laid them to rest in caskets where I made a cross and wrote the words to [Irish ballad] ‘Danny Boy’ on their casket. The weather had been pretty bad here for awhile and an excavator was planned to come (to) the property to dig up the ground so I could give them a proper burial when this terrible thing happened.”
He added, “Those who know me know I would never harm any animal as they are God’s most beautiful and innocent of creations. I’m a vegetarian because of my respect for all animals.”
Vincent also insisted the truth will come out about the argument between him and his wife, adding, “As you must know, this is a private matter that I cannot comment on at this time. Please don’t believe everything you read. I would never hurt anyone — ever. What has been reported is an absolutely inaccurate depiction of the events that occurred that evening. When it’s time, the truth will be known.”
Vincent replaced lead guitarist Ace Frehley in 1982 and played with KISS for two years. He left the group on bad terms, and later claimed KISS members Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley owed him royalties for his work on KISS‘ 1983 album “Lick It Up”, according to the Courthouse News Service. However, a federal judge in Los Angeles ruled against him and awarded the KISS defendants about $66,400 in attorney’s fees and $15,400 in costs.
Last June, Vincent lost his 6th Circuit appeal of an order barring him from seeking bankruptcy protection from paying more than $81,000 to his former bandmates.
In January, Vincent, in association with Guitarmageddon Guitars, unveiled the official Vinnie Vincent model guitar at the NAMM convention.