Melissa Rivers opened up about her mother, Joan Rivers’ death which she said “was 100 percent preventable” in her first television interview since the untimely passing of the comedy legend. She also spoke out about the ‘Fashion Police’ controversy which has seen the departure of two of the co-hosts, Kathy Griffin and Kelly Osbourne.
The 47-year-old Melissa Rivers spoke with Today Show co-anchor Matt Lauer in a prerecorded interview. In the eight months since Joan Rivers’ death, she has penned a memoir, “The Book of Joan,” in which she speaks of her mother’s final hours of life at the hospital, and the final moments as the life support was turned off.
She had sharp words for the Yorkville Endoscopy clinic she is suing in the aftermath of her mother’s death, after what was supposed to have been a routine throat procedure. Matt Lauer asked what the clinic could have done and she said, ““How about paying attention to the vital signs? How about having a properly equipped crash cart?”
She spoke about her conversation with her mother the night before the throat procedure and said said, “”All she said was, ‘Ugh, I hate having to do this. Getting old sucks.” She went on to speak of what it was like, those final days of her mother’s hospitalization. “I just couldn’t believe what I was seeing. It becomes very surreal.”
Melisa Rivers also reflected upon her working relationship with her late mother. While calling it “pretty amazing,’ she went on to add, “It doesn’t mean that we didn’t have creative differences.”
Elaborating, she said, “Oh, there were some huge fights, but the amazing thing was was there was this chemistry. And we were a team. I was the straight man. She was the funny one. I would set it up. She would hit it out of the park. If you come across a partnership like that once in your life, as a performer, you’re lucky.”
She also shared her thoughts on what it was like to have Joan Rivers as a mother. She said, “A lot of things that she said were destructive.” But she went on to add, “I’m not a serial killer. I seem to be contributing, somewhat, to society. And I hold down a job. So how destructive could those comments have been?”
She also spoke about “Fashion Police” which is now on hiatus after both Kathy Griffin and Kelly Osbourne have left the show. The show had returned for a new season with a moving tribute episode to Joan Rivers, but from that point on erupted in controversy during the height of the Hollywood awards season. Kelly Osbourne left shortly after Giuliana Rancic made derogatory comments about Zendaya’s dreadlocks hairstyle.
Griffin, left soon thereafter. For for her part, spoke out on The View” about why she left, saying that her improvisational comedic style did not jibe with the “Fashion Police” which she described, in contrast as “formulaic.” She also admitted that as a “feminist and a comic” she did not want to criticize women’s red carpet fashions.
Melissa Rivers spoke in general terms at first, about the dissolution of the show, and said, “”The only way I can really get my head around it is the matriarch of the family died. And the family fell apart. And the sisters started fighting. And everybody mourns and grieves differently. And then someone tried to marry into the family. And we know how that went. That’s the only way I can sort of explain what happened.”
She went on to address the criticism the show has received over the years, and said, “I think the show’s funny. And people say it’s mean-spirited. It wasn’t, because it was a celebration. My mother loved fashion. And she loved celebrity. And she loved being famous. And she loved that these women were getting dressed up.”
She added, “And even though we’re talking about it and making jokes, it came from a place of excitement, which made it okay. In the second incarnation, I don’t think we ever achieved that warmth, that excitement, that love that came through the screen.”
The full video of Melissa Rivers’ interview on the death her mother Joan Rivers and the “Fashion Police” controversy is below.
Pictures: PR Photos