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Joan Rivers refuses to apologize to Cleveland kidnapping victims

After comparing the size of her bedroom to the cold, dark basement where three women were held captive in Cleveland, Ohio, 80-year-old Fashion Police host, Joan Rivers is reportedly refusing to apologize to the victims of the infamous Cleveland kidnapper, Ariel Castro. In fact, on Thursday, the Washington Post reported that Rivers says there's nothing to apologize for.

Joan Rivers refuses to apologize to Cleveland kidnapping victims
Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez

The Washington Post reports that Rivers was doing an interview on the Today Show on Tuesday when told Al Roker that the Cleveland kidnapping victims had more space in the basement they were once held captive in. Reports indicate that Rivers responded to the stunned looks she received by asking if the joke was “too soon.”

Attorneys for Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus, who are two of the survivors of the Cleveland kidnapping, later released a statement saying they believed Rivers owed their clients a “sincere apology.” However, Rivers responded by saying she's a comedienne, she made a joke, and that everyone should calm down. She added: “They're [the victims] free, so let's move on.”

While Rivers is right, the victims are free, most agree what those young women went through is no laughing matter. Michelle Knight, Amanda Berry, and Gina DeJesus were all kidnapped in Cleveland, Ohio between 2002 and 2004. They were all between the ages of 14 and 20 when they were taken and held captive for nearly a decade. All the while being beaten, rape, and tortured at the hands of their captor.

The women remained captive until Berry managed to escape on May 6, 2013, and alert authorities. Their captor, Ariel Castro, was later arrested and charged with hundreds of counts including kidnapping, rape, and even aggravated murder. He eventually pleaded guilty to 329 of those charges, and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, plus 1,000 years, before killing himself in his prison cell.