Queens of the Stone Age frontman Josh Homme still can’t contact his 15-year-old daughter, but he’ll get to see his two youngest kids Tuesday night — over a video call, a judge has ruled. The rocker, who hasn’t seen the boys, aged 10 and 5, since August 26th amid domestic violence allegations and a bitter custody dispute, was granted the joint FaceTime call by Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Lawrence Riff. Subsequent 15-minute FaceTime calls with the boys will then proceed every other day, the judge said at a Tuesday morning hearing.
“I don’t think I need to warn anybody, but I will: If I get the slightest whiff that anybody is coaching these kids not to talk to their father, it would go down very hard with me,” Judge Riff said, specifying that Dalle is not to monitor or record the calls. “I think that would be a very bad thing.”
Homme, 48, and his ex-wife Brody Dalle, 42, founder of the punk group the Distillers, have been battling over custody of their three children for months, with dueling allegations of domestic violence, multiple police reports, and claims the other is an unfit parent. The dispute made headlines earlier this month when the couple’s teen daughter was granted a restraining order saying her dad must stay 100 yards away from her. The judge extended that restraining order into November on Tuesday with a follow-up court date set for October 29th.
In the meantime, Dalle is due to be arraigned on a contempt charge October 13th, after refusing to hand over the kids to Homme as required on September 3rd, a violation of a court order related to the couple’s 50-50 joint custody agreement. Dalle also filed restraining order requests against Homme on behalf of the two boys earlier this month, but the court denied them on an emergency basis pending a future hearing.
Lawyers for both Homme and Dalle told the court on Tuesday that they were hoping to mediate the dispute and possibly reach a settlement now that a court-appointed lawyer representing the children is involved. “I agree that a continuance of all the matters would be very helpful in this case,” the kids’ lawyer, Sonia Dujan, told the court. “[It] would really be in the children’s best interest if we could reduce the conflict.”
Dean Fertita, a member of Queens of the Stone Age, filed a September 13th, 2020, declaration in the case supporting Homme, saying he was present when one of the purported incidents of domestic violence allegedly took place. He said the claim that Homme was abusive in his presence “never happened.” “I have never seen Josh do anything inappropriate with the children in my presence,” he wrote.
Homme went to court in July and again this month with claims Dalle was keeping the children from him in violation of their one-week-on, one-week-off custody deal. For her part, Dalle claimed that she and the three kids all tested positive for Covid-19 while on vacation in July and had to quarantine in a way that cut into Homme’s custodial time. She later claimed the kids were not safe with their dad.
“We’re pleased with the results today and hope there will be a robust investigation into the allegations,” Dalle’s new lawyer, Lisa Helfend Meyer told Rolling Stone after the hearing.