A Look At Gene Simmons' Relationship With Shannon Tweed

Legendary rocker and bassist for the heavy metal band KISS, Gene Simmons married girlfriend and mother of his two children, Shannon Tweed, back in 2011. While it might not come across as earth-shattering news these days, Simmons finally proposed to Tweed after 28 years of dating. Stemming from an interview with the pair on "The Joy Behar Show," Simmons joked about faithfulness and the rock star lifestyle, causing Tweed to storm off set (the incident is posted on YouTube). Shortly after the episode aired, and facing immediate backlash, Simmons stepped up, finally proposing to his longtime girlfriend (via CNN).

Born Chaim Witz in August 1949 in Haifa, Israel, Gene Simmons along with Paul Stanley formed the heavy bass- and guitar-driven group KISS in 1973. Wearing wild space-age costumes, intricate makeup, and giant platform heels, as well as theatrics like appearing to spit blood, KISS owned the mid '70s, selling everything from multiplatinum albums to 12-inch dolls for little kids. While their initial popularity would wane in the early '80s, the group would find resurgence again with the popularity of "hair metal."

The daughter of a mink rancher, Shannon Tweed was born in Newfoundland in March 1957. At the age of 20, after her father was left paralyzed from an accident, Tweed began entering beauty pageants, eventually placing third in 1978's Miss Ottawa pageant (via Famous Canadians). After posing for Playboy magazine, Tweed was named Playmate of the Month for November 1981 and named Playmate of the Year the following year. At Hugh Hefner's famous Playboy Mansion, Shannon Tweed met Gene Simmons in 1982.

Happily ever after?

The pair was together for the next 28 years, surviving multiple KISS reunion tours and a reality show, A&E's "Gene Simmons' Family Jewels." In an interview on "The Joy Behar Show" promoting the series, Behar joked with Simmons about his notorious womanizing. Questioning him about the 5,000 women he claims to have been with (via Daily News), Behar jokingly asked the KISS vocalist how has his back was holding up after being with so many women. Simmons responded with what he thought was a joke. Tweed, though, had enough, stating to him before storming off set: "That's very nice for you to joke about it," Tweed said sarcastically. "F*** off."

The debacle was the final straw for Tweed, who had been struggling for some time with Simmons' legendary infidelity. In an interview with People Magazine in July 2011, Tweed informed the world that she had moved out of the family home (via Orange County Register).

After a few months apart, Simmons reconsidered his long-standing stance on marriage and proposed to Tweed on a pre-recorded episode of "Gene Simmons' Family Jewels." While most things are scripted on reality shows, Tweed forgave the fire-breathing bass player and married him on October 1, 2011, at the Beverly Hills Hotel in California (via Billboard). In 2021, the couple celebrated their 10th anniversary with a post on Tweed's Instagram.  Now, who says true love doesn't exist?

Simmons and Tweed have two children together

Simmons and Tweed are parents of two children, per ET, both of whom appeared in the family's reality show "Gene Simmons Family Jewels." Their son, Nick Simmons, has gone on to work as a writer, musician, and television personality, according to his bio on HuffPost. Nick has also written for other publications like Vice and Esquire. The older of the two children, Nick also has some comic book writing credits to his name. However, according to a 2010 posting at CBR, his comic book series "Incarnate" was put under a microscope after it was alleged that Simmons had plagiarized some of the series' design elements from other works, namely several manga titles, including "Bleach." 

Meanwhile, the couple's daughter, Sophie Simmons, has worked as a model, but gave that up to pursue a music career, per Yahoo Entertainment. She has since released mostly electronic music as a solo artist, and has also written songs for other artists. In 2020, she published a book of poetry titled "Secrets I Would Never Say, But I Would Sing."

Shannon Tweed thought Gene Simmons had potential

"You can't change someone," Shannon Tweed told ET in 2021, "but you can see their potential and hope for the best, if you've got the patience." Patience was something Tweed must have had in spades, because Simmons himself admitted that for a large portion of his relationship with his now-wife he could have been a better partner. In 2018 — just a handful of years into their marriage — Simmons told Us that "For 29 years ... I was a jackass."

Tweed had similar sentiments, albeit couched in a more palatable way. "He was a good man in a bad boy shell," she recalled. "He had stuff to do and he had to get it done before [he married me]," she told ET. In that same interview (which was done jointly) Simmons referred to Tweed as their family's moral compass, and stated that without her, their family would be nothing more than an "empty body."

Shannon Tweed once told Cher to back off

Simmons' bedroom exploits have become the stuff of rock 'n' roll legend, per TMZ, and he was known to have been involved in relationships with some high-profile women over his lengthy career. According to InStyle, Simmons wrote in his 2001 memoir "Kiss and Make-Up" that he started dating singer and actress Diana Ross, although that only started when he went to consult the former Supreme about what to buy his then-girlfriend, singer and Oscar-winning actress Cher, for Christmas.

SImmons and Cher once lived together in their younger years, but Simmons and Tweed revealed in a 2006 interview with Howard Stern that the "Believe" singer continued to contact the Kiss bassist for years after their relationship had come to an end. This prompted Tweed to send Cher a letter asking her to please stop contacting. Tweed went on to tell the shock jock that her hand was forced into writing a letter after the couple's son, Nick, accidentally read one of the letters that came courtesy of Cher.