The Friars Club has canceled its March 2 roast of Gene Simmons. Confidential has learned that the legendary club nixed the tribute in light of recent allegation of sexual impropriety against the Kiss bassist.
As it happens, Simmons was picked to be honored after the club chose to cancel its roast of Harvey Weinstein because of charges of sexual misconduct against the disgraced movie mogul.
The decision comes the same day a reporter from Australia’s Daily Telegraph said she walked out on a 1990s interview — the only time she’s done so in her career — after comments by Simmons made her uncomfortable.
Gene Simmons, left, and Shannon Tweed attend the Clive Davis and The Recording Academy Pre-Grammy Gala at The Beverly Hilton Hotel in February.
(Rich Fury/Rich Fury/Invision/AP)
That complaint came a day after reports that Simmons was being sued by an unidentified woman, who claims the 68-year-old rocker groped her last month in a restaurant he co-owns. Simmons denies the claim.
According to The Daily Beast, Simmons was also banned from Fox News studios after he “crudely insulted female Fox staffers” during a visit in November.
Simmons’ skewering was to have been hosted by George Lopez. Insult comic Jeffrey Ross was also signed on to playfully taunt the musician. The event was to have taken place at the Ziegfeld Ballroom in Midtown, where we’re told the show could still go on without Simmons. As of Monday, club sources confirm that the search was on to find another honoree.
The legendary comedy club, which boasts “We only roast the ones we love,” has roasted the famous and the infamous in its 113-year history.
Stars accused of sexual harassment and assault
Past roastees include Humphrey Bogart, Milton Berle, Johnny Carson and Lucille Ball. Hugh Hefner, Matt Lauer and Donald Trump have also received the honor.
The Friars Club didn’t return our calls, but a board member confirms the cancellation.
“In light of recent developments, and after careful consideration, the Friars Club has decided to cancel its roast of Gene Simmons effective immediately,” we’re told.
With Brian Niemietz