Joan Rivers refuses to apologize for Cleveland kidnapping joke

Gina DeJesus, Michelle Knight and Amanda Berry were kidnapped, bound, raped and tortured in the basement of the home of Ariel Castro for 10 years before escaping. Castro hanged himself in prison last year.
By Aileen Graef  |  April 24, 2014 at 10:01 AM
share with facebook
share with twitter

NEW YORK, April 24 (UPI) -- Joan Rivers refuses to apologize for a tasteless joke she made about the Cleveland kidnapping victims on Today.

Joan Rivers made a dive into hot water when, during an appearance on Today, she made a comparison between her daughter's guest room and the basement in which Cleveland kidnapping victims Gina DeJesus, Michelle Knight and Amanda Berry were bound, raped and tortured for years before their escape.

"Those women in the basement in Cleveland had more room," quipped Rivers.

Though the sharp-tongued entertainer may have thought she was being funny, no one else did. She quickly received a resounding backlash for her thoughtless comment. Lawyers for Gina DeJesus and Amanda Berry issued a statement demanding an apology to the victims and their families.

"Our clients have become aware of Joan Rivers' unfortunate comparison of living in her daughter's guest room to their captivity. We understand that Ms. Rivers is a comedienne; however, the idea that a celebrity would say something this hurtful, on national television, no less, is beyond shocking and disappointing. Our clients are strong, private women who have endured unwanted and often painful media attention for quite some time. They now have to endure this, which is a new low, and we believe a sincere apology is warranted.''

Rivers decided rather than offer the "sincere apology" requested, she would make matters worse by defiantly refusing to apologize at all.

"I’m a comedienne," she told the Cleveland Plain Dealer. "I know what those girls went through. It was a little, stupid joke. There is nothing to apologize for. I made a joke. That’s what I do. Calm down. Calm [expletive] down. I’m a comedienne. They’re free, so let’s move on."

Topics: Joan Rivers
Trending Stories