Comedienne Joan Rivers may have gone way too far with a joke during a visit Tuesday on NBC's "Today" show.
When asked what it is like to live in Malibu with her daughter, Melissa, who was sitting next to her, Rivers made light of the three women who were kidnapped as teenagers and held hostage for more than 10 years in Ariel Castro's Cleveland basement before managing to escape in May.
“Those women in the basement of Cleveland have more space,” the 80-year-old Rivers said, in reference to Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight.
“Too soon?” Rivers asked, when the "Today" show anchors didn't know how to respond.
Rivers' comment has drawn nationwide criticism and a sharp statement from DeJesus and Berry's attorneys. "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," the statement, released Wednesday and posted on Cleveland's 19 Action News website, said.
An attorney for Knight, the third woman held captive, couldn't be reached on Wednesday, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported. Rivers’ publicist, Judy Katz, and a publicist for WEtv also couldn't be reached for comment Wednesday afternoon, the newspaper said. Rivers and her daughter were on "Today" to discuss the fourth season of their reality-TV show on WEtv called "Joan and Melissa: Joan Knows Best?"
Somehow, her foot got in the way of her mouth. Not that hindsight probably would mattered much to a saucy, over-the-top comedienne who started out in the not-always-so politically correct late 1950s. Besides, Rivers also mocked Lindsay Lohan, who revealed Sunday in the season finale of her OWN documentary series, “Lindsay,” that she had a secret pregnancy and subsequent miscarriage. She blurted out the surprise while explaining why she had missed several days of filming.
“No one knows this," Lohan, 27, said on the broadcast. "… I had a miscarriage for those two weeks that I took off.”
When TMZ reporters stopped Rivers on the street and asked her opinion about Lohan's miscarriage, Rivers replied, “I hope she kept it."
Rivers' daughter, Melissa, expressed disgust at her mother's comment, prompting the older woman to turn to her, and say, "Excuse me, what do u think I am? I was born with a coat hanger in my ear.”
In the one-and-a-half minute TMZ video, the interviewer quickly follows up and asks Rivers if she thinks that Lohan would have been a great mother. “Oh I think Lindsay could’ve been really a great mother,” Rivers said, laughing. “She would have been diapering the wrong end.”