Citing "recent developments" surrounding Gene Simmons, the Friars Club has canceled plans to host a roast of the Kiss co-founder next March.

As fans are no doubt aware, Simmons has found himself battling controversy in recent days — first after he was hit with a lifetime ban from the Fox network for allegedly conducting himself in an inappropriate manner during a visit to the studio to promote his latest book, On Power: My Journey Through the Corridors of Power and How You Can Get More Power. Although Simmons later said the network's account of his conduct was "highly exaggerated and misleading," it proved just the start of his public relations woes.

More recently, Simmons has been the target of a sexual battery lawsuit claiming he assaulted a radio host — and a series of subsequent accusations from women coming forward with stories of encounters involving similar behavior. Simmons has responded that he's "conferring with my lawyers with the aim of vigorously countering these allegations," insisting that he's looking forward "to my day in court where the evidence will prove my innocence."

Be that as it may, the Friars Club has decided the cloud hovering over Simmons is enough to cancel the event. Ironically, as the New York Daily News notes, Simmons was the guest of honor chosen after the club had to cancel its original roastee — disgraced Weinstein Company co-founder Harvey Weinstein.

The Friars Club hasn't commented directly on its decision, but a board member confirmed the cancellation after being reached by the Daily News, responding simply, "In light of recent developments, and after careful consideration, the Friars Club has decided to cancel its roast of Gene Simmons effective immediately."



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