May 28, 2015
Melissa Rivers Opens Up About Life After the Loss of Her Mother and Best Friend, Late Comedian Joan Rivers, in the June/July issue of AARP The Magazine
Read About Melissa’s Fond Memories of Joan, Coping With Grief, Her Future Plans for E!’s Fashion Police, and More

WASHINGTON, DC Before the unexpected death of her mother last September, Melissa and Joan Rivers were Hollywood’s most well-known mother-daughter tag team. In a revealing, intimate interview with AARP The Magazine, Rivers reminisces about the cherished memories she and her mother created and provides insight on what her life looks like now without her best friend and creative confidante. In discussing what she misses most about her mother as well as the many friends who have helped her cope, Melissa shares her story of the lessons learned and growth that have come with having now lost both parents.

The following are excerpts from the June/July issue of the AARP The Magazine cover story featuring Melissa Rivers, available in homes today and online now at

On her response to whether she thinks her mother is looking out for her from another parallel:

“If she is, she can keep a little of this f—king chaos at bay! Seriously, if you’re supposed to be sitting on my shoulder and making sure everything’s OK –chop-chop, get on it! Things are crazy around here!”

On her reaction to Joan Rivers’ exclusion from the In Memoriam segment of the Oscar awards:

“She was one of the first women directors ever, with Rabbit Test [the 1978 feature comedy debut of Billy Crystal], and she had acting credits. We changed the awards-show business. Throw her picture up on the screen for 15 seconds!”

On the working relationship she had with her mother:

“My mother and I each had our own lanes. She’d work on one thing, I’d work on another, and then we’d come up with the game plan. Suddenly it feels like the work hasn’t doubled; it’s tripled. There’s a new entity: the estate and the legacy. And there’s no map. I don’t want to blow it, so there’s a lot of pressure.”

On dealing with the loss of both her mother and creative partner:

“I was part of a comedy team. I was the straight man. And now I’m a solo act. That’s the hard part. I’m trying to find my voice.”

On where she is in the grieving process:

“I’m still in that deification phase. You miss even the sh-ttiest things: I miss when she’d come in and rearrange my furniture and tell me how I ran my house wrong and criticize everything. I miss the criticism! I’m still in that phase.”

On making the decision to let Joan Rivers go:

“She had a living will and an advance directive that was very specific. My mother’s definition of quality of life was having all her faculties and being able to go on stage for one hour and, here was the kicker, be funny. As hard as it was, I knew the right decision.”

On remembering her father, Edgar Rosenberg, and his last words on a tape recording he left for her after taking his life:

“He said goodbye and told me it was my job to take care of Mommy. At the very end, his primary concern was my mother, he cared for her that much. But who was supposed to take care of me? Suicide is complicated.”

On her thoughts on moving forward in life without her parents:

“When one parent dies, it’s a comma. When the second parent dies, it’s a period.”

On how writing her new book, The Book of Joan: Tales of Mirth, Mischief and Manipulation, helped her heal:

“Those blocks of writing saved me, because Larry [Amoros] and I would laugh and laugh. I wanted to call the book Cheaper Than Therapy.”

On how her relationship with her boyfriend developed after her mother’s death:

“A number of people really surprised me. My boyfriend is one. I’d never seen him as someone dependable and strong and who gave a crap. He said he’d never seen me defenseless and didn’t want to see me that way again. As any therapist will tell you, probably not the best time to get into a relationship! But we figure it can’t get any worse.”

On the changes that are taking place with Fashion Police:

“We came back too fast.”

“We were a family and when the head of a family passes, it throws everyone into emotional turmoil.”

On Joan Rivers’ humorous generosity:

“She was so kind and generous to the point you wanted to smack her. She’d be in my house and someone would say, ‘Oh, I like those candlesticks.’ And she’d say, ‘Take them!’ They were mine! She’d say, ‘You can get more.’”

Former Fashion Police co-star Kelly Osbourne on her friendly encounter with Joan Rivers while they were unknowingly on the same flight:

“I went right to sleep. When I woke up, I thought I had gone blind because Joan had duct-taped a note to my head. I keep it on my desk. It says, ‘Kel!! You must stop stalking me. XoXo. Look at seat 3H, you have a friend. PS. Can you give me a lift? PPS. You don’t snore.’”

For the complete interview, along with behind the scenes video and images, check out

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About AARP The Magazine

With more than 35.2 million readers, AARP The Magazine is the world's largest circulation magazine and the definitive lifestyle publication for Americans 50+. AARP The Magazine delivers comprehensive content through health and fitness features, financial guidance, consumer interest information and tips, celebrity interviews, and book and movie reviews. AARP The Magazine was founded in 1958 and is published bimonthly in print and continually online. Learn more at

About AARP
AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, with a membership of nearly 38 million, that helps people turn their goals and dreams into real possibilities, strengthens communities and fights for the issues that matter most to families such as healthcare, employment and income security, retirement planning, affordable utilities and protection from financial abuse. We advocate for individuals in the marketplace by selecting products and services of high quality and value to carry the AARP name as well as help our members obtain discounts on a wide range of products, travel, and services. A trusted source for lifestyle tips, news and educational information, AARP produces AARP The Magazine, the world's largest circulation magazine; AARP Bulletin;; AARP TV & Radio; AARP Books; and AARP en Español, a Spanish-language website addressing the interests and needs of Hispanics. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to political campaigns or candidates. The AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. AARP has staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Learn more at

Carla Clunis, Coburn Communication, 646.633.4971, 
Paola Torres, AARP, 202.434.2555,

Tweet It: .@MelRivers shares how she copes w/ the loss of Joan Rivers in the latest issue of AARP The Magazine. Read more here