April 24th, 2014
03:33 PM ET

Joan Rivers jokes about Cleveland captives, won't apologize

When Joan Rivers tells a joke not much is off limits - and that includes the three women who were held captive in a Cleveland, Ohio home for years.

On the "Today" show earlier this week, Rivers appeared with her daughter, Melissa, to talk about their WEtv series, "Joan and Melissa: Joan Knows Best?" When one of the "Today" hosts asked the mother-daughter duo what it was like living together, Rivers responded, "I'm still in the same stupid little room. Those women in the basement in Cleveland had more space."

Rivers is referring to Michelle Knight, Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus, the trio who escaped from what's become known as a "house of horrors" after being kept prisoner there for nearly a decade.

According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, attorneys for Berry and DeJesus called Rivers' joke "a new low" and have requested an apology from Rivers, but the comic has said she has "nothing to apologize for."

“I’m a comedienne,’’ she told the paper. “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. ... They’re free, so let’s move on.’’

Rivers apparently didn't stop there, though. On Wednesday she told TMZ that the survivors should "lighten up."

"One of them has a book deal. Neither are in a psych ward. They're OK," Rivers said, pointing out that she's not the first comedian to turn a tragedy into a punchline. "I bet you within 3 years one of them will be on 'Dancing with the Stars.'"

Filed under: Celebrities

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