Report: Joan Rivers got death threats, hired bodyguard after pro-Israel comments

Close friend of the late Jewish comedienne tells 'Hollywood Reporter' that Rivers feared for her life after remarks made during Gaza war.

September 11, 2014 11:55
1 minute read.
Joan Rivers

Comedian Joan Rivers. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Late comedienne Joan Rivers was forced to hire a bodyguard in the last weeks of her life after she received death threats in response to pro-Israel comments she made during Operation Protective Edge, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Blaine Trump, a personal friend of the Jewish comic, told the paper that a TMZ report which captured her remarks on the Gaza conflict in late July made Rivers fear for her safety.

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“When she came out and said Israel had every right to bomb Hamas, the death threats started rolling in,” Trump told the Reporter.

In the comments in question, Rivers told a TMZ reporter, "Let me just tell you if New Jersey was firing rockets into New York we would wipe them out. If we heard they were digging tunnels from New Jersey to New York we would get rid of Jersey."

In a direct address to the Palestinians, Rivers said: "You cannot throw rockets, and expect people not to defend themselves."

Asked about civilian casualties, Rivers attacked Hamas's practice of storing weapons in private homes in Gaza. 

"Don't put your goddamn things in private homes. I'm sorry, don't you dare put weapons stashes in private homes," she said.

In response to a where the Gazan Palestinians are supposed to go, Rivers said:

"I don't care, they started it. You're all insane. They started it. What are you all saying. They started it."

"For months this has being going on," Rivers said, referring to the rocket fire from Gaza on Israel. 

Trump told The Hollywood Reporter that she saw Rivers at a Manhattan Restaurant shortly afterward, sitting with the bodyguard.

“I asked her about the whole Palestinian question that was going on. She said, ‘Well, just look to your left. That’s my new best friend because of all the death threats. She wasn't joking...her bodyguard sat at the next table while we had dinner! She was so outspoken, but it was quite frightening at times."

Rivers died on September 4, after complications during surgery caused her to go into cardiac arrest and a coma. She was 81.


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