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Joan Rivers refuses to apologize for Cleveland captives joke

WENN, Thursday, April 24, 2014, 4:12am (PDT)
  • Outlandish comic Joan Rivers is refusing to apologize after she came under fire for making a joke about the Cleveland, Ohio kidnappings.

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    The funnywoman made an appearance on the "Today" show on Tuesday and was talking about living with her daughter Melissa for their reality show, "Joan and Melissa: Joan Knows Best?" when she said, "Those women in the basement in Cleveland had more space."

    The quip was in reference to the three females who escaped kidnapper Ariel Castro in May last year after being kept imprisoned in his home for many years.

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    A lawyer for two of the women, Gina DeJesus and Amanda Berry, subsequently fired off an angry statement slamming the comedienne and branding her comment "beyond shocking and disappointing."

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    However, Rivers is refusing to back down, and has made another joke about the three victims' ordeal, telling TMZ.com, "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.'"

    In another statement to Ohio newspaper The Plain Dealer, she adds, "I'm a comedian. 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."

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