Angela Simmons 'Deeply' Regrets Bringing Gun-Shaped Purse to BET Awards: 'I Made a Poor Decision'

Simmons took to Instagram to address the "inappropriate and insensitive" gun-shaped clutch she wore on the red carpet at the 2024 BET Awards — see her apology

<p>Bennett Raglin/Getty</p>

Bennett Raglin/Getty

Angela Simmons is speaking out after her gun-shaped clutch at the 2024 BET Awards sparked backlash.

The daughter of Run-DMC founder Joseph Simmons, 36, accessorized her emerald beaded Casze Atelier gown with a matching green crystal-covered purse, shaped like a handgun at the awards show on Sunday, June 30. She also appeared to hold the purse as a weapon while she was photographed on the BET Awards carpet.

The accessory immediately sparked criticism online, with some noting that her ex-fiancé Sutton Tennyson, with whom she shares son Sutton Joseph, was killed due to gun violence.

This prompted the businesswoman to post an apology to her Instagram Stories on Tuesday, July 2, sharing that she “deeply regretted” the choice to bring the accessory to the award show and reiterating that she does not in any way condone gun violence.

<p>Angela Simmons/Instagram</p> A screenshot of Angela Simmons' apology on Instagram.

Angela Simmons/Instagram

A screenshot of Angela Simmons' apology on Instagram.

Related: See All the Best Dressed Stars at the 2024 BET Awards

“When I chose the purse, I believed it was cute and unique, and I made a poor decision in using it as an accessory to amplify my beauty,” she wrote. “I deeply regret that this item which symbolizes a gun, was inappropriate and insensitive, especially given my personal and community experiences with gun violence.”

Angela’s ex Tennyson was fatally shot 13 times outside his home in Atlanta in 2018, after an argument with another man allegedly escalated. He was found dead when police arrived due to the injuries he sustained from the gunshot wounds.

Related: Man Who Killed Angela Simmons' Ex-Fiancé Gets Life in Prison: 'Justice Served'

She went on to say that she understood “the pain and the hurt” her decision “caused,” especially to those who have been “directly impacted by gun violence,” as she had also experienced that and seen its impact on her own community in “Southeast Queens."

She also noted that she would still work to “reduce gun violence” through her foundation, Angela's Angels, and shared that "gun violence is a disease that has taken too many lives."

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“By carrying this purse, I did not intend to promote gun violence in any way,” she said in her statement. “It was a mistake that does not define who I am or my commitment to ending gun violence.”

“I ask for your understanding and forgiveness and hope you can accept my sincere apology,” she continued. “While this incident was a misstep, I will not allow it to define my moral compass or my commitment to promoting peace and ending gun violence.”

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