Joan Rivers on CNN Interview Exit: I Was Put on the Defensive

Joan Rivers

The 'Fashion Police' host blames CNN anchor Fredricka Whitfield's inadequacy to understand jokes for her walkout.

Joan Rivers has defended herself after storming out of an interview with CNN. Not apologizing for the incident, the comedienne insists the exit was not a PR stunt and she was offended by the questions made by CNN anchor Fredricka Whitfield.

"The CNN interviewer was a news reporter and not an entertainment reporter," she told TheWrap. "She did not seem to understand we were talking about a comedy book and not the transcripts from the Nuremburg Trial. Every question was an accusatory one designed to put me on the defensive."

During the pre-taped interview about Rivers' new book "Diary of a Mad Diva", Whitfield asked the "Fashion Police" host about her jokes which were usually "off-limits." "Life is very tough, and if you can make something easier and funny do it," she replied. "I don't know what your life has been like but I know a lot of people who have gone through hell. Winston Churchill said if you make someone laugh, you give them a vacation. And maybe you take the worst thing in the world, make it funny and give them a vacation from horror."

The 81-year-old flipped out when Whitfield questioned her fashion choice on the cover of her book. "This whole interview is becoming a defense interview," she fired back. "Are you wearing leather shoes?" When the anchor said "yes," she responded, "Then shut up." She added, "Come to me when you're wearing a paper belt."

"I'm going," Rivers said while pulling out her earpiece. "All you've done is negative," she claimed. "You are not the one to interview a person who does humor! Sorry!" A stunned Whitfield asked, "Are we serious?"

After the interview, Whitfield said she thought Rivers was joking the whole time and wondered if it was a stunt. She just realized that Rivers "was serious" as the comedienne "dropped some rather unflattering four-letter words" while still wearing her microphone.


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