"That was really ignorant what Joan Rivers said. People act like domestic violence is a joke when it's not!" a Twitter user named "CC," whose profile says she lives "downtown," posted on the microblogging service Friday afternoon.
"Joking about domestic violence is foul. You can defend Joan all you want, her tweet was in bad taste," posted user "Deshawn," 23, who says he lives in Los Angeles.
The uproar followed a Twitter message Rivers sent out after a tearful Rihanna told Oprah Winfrey Monday she and Brown were "still close" and "will always love each other," despite a 2009 attack that included punching, biting and choking.
"It's awkward," Rihanna told Winfrey on the Oprah Winfrey Network. "I still love him. My stomach drops. I have to maintain this poker face and not let it get to the other part of me."
Rivers sent out a Twitter message Friday berating Rihanna for still pining after Brown, who pleaded guilty to felony assault in June 2009 after he was charged with assault and making criminal threats against Rihanna shortly before the singer was to perform at the 51st Annual Grammy Awards four months earlier. Rihanna canceled that performance.
"Rihanna confessed to Oprah Winfrey that she still loves Chris Brown. Idiot! Now it's MY turn to slap her," Rivers' Twitter message said.
After the uproar, Rivers sent out another message: "Honey, @Rihanna, everyone knows: If he hit you once, he'll hit you again. Read the statistics. PS – Love to have you on Fashion Police!"
Rivers, 79, co hosts "Fashion Police" on E! Entertainment Television.
Rihanna did not respond to Rivers' remarks, but posted a photo of a page that cited the biblical Book of Proverbs.
The page, titled "Control Your Speech," quoted the first half of Proverbs 15:4.
"A gentle tongue [with its healing power] is a tree of life," the quote says. The second half, not quoted, says, "but perverseness in it breaks the spirit."
The page includes two highlighted sentences: "For we all often stumble and fall and offend in many things. ... If your mouth is out of control, other areas of your life will also be out of control."