Joan Rivers still joking about the Cleveland women held captive by Ariel Castro
Just days after comparing her living arrangements on her reality show to what the women faced, Rivers kept it up. She told TMZ, the celebrity gossip program, that Gina DeJesus and Amanda Berry should not complain: "They got to live rent free for more than a decade . . . One of them has a book deal. Neither are in a psych ward. They're OK. I bet you within three years one of them will be on Dancing with the Stars."
And she went on. In an apparent reference to a lack of sense of humor, she said, "The TV the guy gave them must not have had SNL.''
In her latest comments, Rivers only spoke about two of the women, DeJesus and Berry, whose attorneys blasted her initial remarks, saying they hit a "new low.'' The third victim is Michelle Knight, whose attorney could not be reached for comment.
On Tuesday, Rivers talked on The Today Show about her WEtv series, "Joan and Melissa: Joan Knows Best?'' that features Rivers living with her daughter. It was there while discussing her living arrangements, that she brought up the three Cleveland women who were held captive by Castro.
"Those women in the basement in Cleveland had more room,'' Rivers said.
In a Wednesday interview with The Plain Dealer, Rivers defended herself: "I'm a comedienne. 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 f----- down. I'm a comedienne. They're free, so let's move on.''
On Thursday, The Today Show said it did not condone Rivers' statements.
The attorneys for DeJesus and Berry were not amused by her comments.
"Our clients have become aware of Joan Rivers' unfortunate comparison of living in her daughter's guest room to their captivity,'' said a statement from lawyers James Wooley and Heather Kimmel.
"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.''
Here is what readers are saying about Rivers' comments.