Amanda Berry, Gina DeJeus Want Joan Rivers Apology for Kidnap Joke

Image: Amanda Berry, Gina DeJeus Want Joan Rivers Apology for Kidnap Joke Joan Rivers, comedian.

Friday, 25 Apr 2014 07:54 AM

By Clyde Hughes

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Comedian Joan Rivers is in hot water over two recent, cringe-worthy jokes — one referencing three Cleveland sexual assault and kidnapping victims, and the other about Lindsay Lohan's confession of a recent miscarriage.

Rivers 80, appeared on the "Today" show Tuesday to talk about her "Joan and Melissa: Joan Knows Best?" reality series on WEtv, in which she stars with her daughter, Melissa Rivers.

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The topic turned to her living arrangements and Rivers quipped, "Those women in the basement in Cleveland had more room."

That brought a rebuke from the attorneys of Gina DeJesus and Amanda Berry, who along with Michelle Knight escaped the home of Ariel Castro in Cleveland last year after being tortured and sexually assaulted for years.

"Our clients have become aware of Joan Rivers' unfortunate comparison of living in her daughter's guest room to their captivity," lawyers James Wooley and Heather Kimmel said in a statement. "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."

But Rivers refused to back down Wednesday in an interview with The Plain Dealer.

"I'm a comedienne," Rivers told the newspaper. "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. ... They're free, so let's move on."

Lohan said in the finale of her reality show on the Oprah Winfrey Network that she'd had a recent miscarriage. When a TMZ reporter asked Rivers her thoughts about it, she replied, "I hope she kept it." When her daughter Melissa cringed, Rivers continued, "Excuse me, what do you think I am? I was born with a coat hanger in my ear."

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