Melissa Rivers is talking about why she decided to release a book, The Book of Joan, just eight months after her legendary mom’s death.
INSIDE EDITION’s Deborah Norville, who was a close friend of Joan Rivers, brought Melissa back to The Gotham Comedy Club in Manhattan, one of the nightspots where her mom would try out new material.
Norville said to Melissa, “A friend of mine once said to me, ‘Your mother’s voice will ring in your heart forever.’ What is it that you still hear your mom say?”
Melissa said, “Beside get your hair out of your eyes? Everything will be okay. It is going to be okay. It is going to be okay.”
It’s still hard for Melissa to believe that she’s gone.
Melissa said, “The one thing that I did that she would have hated was letting everyone come to see her.”
Even with her mom in a medically induced coma, Melissa knew that she would want to look her best, so she brought hair and makeup team in the hospital.
“You want that person if they can feel anything at all, to feel loved and know how important they were. She never believed she was special or important to anybody” said Melissa.
A tearful Norville said, “She didn’t know how much we cared?”
Melissa replied, “She knew you cared but I don’t think she allowed herself to believe.”
Norville then said, “That is why it was important that you let everybody come.”
Norville was honored when Melissa asked her to give a eulogy at her mom’s funeral in September.
Melissa praised Norville and said, “She would have been so proud.”
“I was so proud,” declared Norville.
Norville then asked, “Where will you put your mom’s ashes?”
“In Wyoming where we went every year for family vacation. In New York. In London. Here is the thing, she became the custodian of everyone’s ashes. So, I literally have closets filled with ashes,” said Melissa.
Laughter is coming easier these days and Melissa’s book is full of funny anecdotes about her mom.
Melissa said, “I put in some of her report cards from when she was a child!”
Norville then read an excerpt from the book, “She is fast overcoming her tendency toward bribery in order to win friends.” She then said, “She would literally give you the watch off her arm because she gave me one! It wasn’t the Cartier, unfortunately!”
Melissa then replied, “That is because I got that one,” and showed that she was still wearing it.
Another thing Joan’s fans never knew about, her charity work in suicide prevention, which inspired by the suicide of Melissa’s dad, producer Edgar Rosenberg in 1987.
Norville said, “She volunteered at the suicide hotline. I always wondered what that one person who was about ready to knock on heaven’s door would do?”
Melissa and Norville then both jokingly imitated Joan saying, “Grow up!”
Melissa has filed a malpractice suit against the doctors and the clinic where her mom went in for a procedure to check on a raspy throat and never woke up. Among other claims, doctors are accused of taking pictures while Joan was unconscious.
“It was so egregious and incomprehensible what happened. You get angry,” said Melissa.
Norville then admitted, “I think your mother would be glad you are doing this.”
Melissa said, “Thank you for being a friend and family to me and being everything you have been to us.”