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Joan Rivers Won’t Apologize For Jokes About Cleveland Kidnapping Survivors

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Apr. 24 2014, Published 9:18 a.m. ET

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Attorneys for Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus, two of the survivors of Ariel Castro's Cleveland House of Horrors along with Michelle Knight, want an apology from Joan Rivers after the veteran comic used their traumatic backstory as a punchline for her shock schtick.

The outspoken 80-year-old humorist delivered two cringeworthy digs at their expense this week: She first joked on the TODAY show of her small living quarters, saying “those women in the basement in Cleveland had more space;” then, according to online reports, joked that the women didn’t have to pay rent while under Castro’s roof.

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James Wooley and Heather Kimmel, lawyers for the two women, called the jokes “a new low,” said they “believe a sincere apology is warranted.”

“Our clients are strong, private women who have endured unwanted and often painful media attention for quite some time,” they added.

Speaking with the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Rivers “there is nothing to apologize for,” as she was simply plying her trade as a comedienne.

“I made a joke. That’s what I do. Calm down. Calm f***ing down … they’re free, so let’s move on.”

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In later online reports, Rivers cited the professional success of the women in the year since they’ve been rescued, predicting a Dancing with the Stars stint for one of them within three years.

Readers, do you think Rivers took things too far, or is it all par for the comedy course? Comment below.



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