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Angela Simmons issues apology for wearing gun-shaped purse to BET Awards

Angela Simmons has issued an apology after she faced backlash for wearing a gun-shaped clutch bag to the BET Awards.

The US reality TV star, who is the daughter of Run DMC’s Joseph “Rev Run” Simmons, carried an emerald, diamante-covered purse moulded in the shape of a hand pistol to the awards ceremony on Sunday night (30 June).

Fans quickly criticised the 36-year-old Growing Up Hip Hop star for the style choice and its symbolism, with some accusing her of glorifying gun violence, since she posed on the red carpet pointing the purse up to the camera lens.

One fan said her choice of bag was “poor taste”, as another added: “With all the gun violence in America, it’s not a good look.”

“Glock clutch is insane,” wrote someone else, with one fan asking on social media: “What’s the inspiration behind the gun? Violence?”

Simmons issued an apology on Instagram on Tuesday (2 July), telling fans she thought the purse’s design was “cute and unique”, but admitted that she had made a “poor decision in using it as an accessory to amplify my beauty”.

Simmons posing with her purse and boyfriend, rapper Yo Gotti, at the BET awards

Simmons posing with her purse and boyfriend, rapper Yo Gotti, at the BET awards (Getty Images for BET)

“I deeply regret that this item, which symbolises a gun, was inappropriate and insensitive, especially given my personal and community experiences with gun violence,” she said.

“I understand the pain and hurt this caused, especially to those who have been directly impacted by gun violence. For my entire life, I have always exemplified peace, unification, and the resolution of gun violence in America.”

Reality star spoke about her own proximity to gun violence

Reality star spoke about her own proximity to gun violence (Instagram via @angelasimmons)

She continued: “I have personally lost my partner, the father of my child, to gun violence, and I have witnessed its devastating impact on my community in Southeast Queens.”

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Simmons’ late ex-fiancé, and the father of her six-year-old son, Sutton Joseph Tennyson, died in 2018 after being shot at his home in southwest Atlanta.

Simmons was criticised for accessory’s symbolism

Simmons was criticised for accessory’s symbolism (Getty Images)

Simmons highlighted her work with gun violence activist, Erica Ford, stating that she collaborated with Ford to launch an organisation offering community programs aimed at reducing gun violence.

“Gun violence is a disease that has taken too many lives, particularly among young people and Black men,” she continued in the statement. “By carrying this purse, I did not intend to promote gun violence in any way.

“It was a mistake that does not define who I am or my commitment to ending violence. To anyone who was hurt or offended by my actions, I offer my deepest apologies.”

Simmons, who is now dating the rapper Yo Gotti, previously opened up about the difficult moment she told her son that his father had been killed. Her son was three at the time.

“How do you explain to a three-year-old that they’re never going to see them again?” Simmons told life coach Chenoa Maxwell during a 2020 episode of Growing Up Hip Hop.

Simmons said that after the conversation, her son “kind of laid his head in my chest and told me he was sad”.

“I’ve never seen him emotional. He’s a happy kid, and that whole day, he was just kind of, like, mopey and sad,” she recalled.

“And I talked to him, ‘I got you. You’re OK. You’re good.’ And he was like, ‘OK, I got you.’ It was that conversation, but it was super hard to have that conversation with him.”

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