Joan Rivers walked out of a CNN interview with anchor Fredricka Whitfield in the midst of a heated exchange. The iconic comedian and television personality was talking about ‘Diary of a Mad Diva,’ her new book when the amicable conversation took a sudden and dramatic turn for the worse.

Joan Rivers

Photos: Joan Rivers
Credit: PR Photos

The 81-year-old comedy icon has been making the rounds with her new book, ‘Diary of a Mad Diva,’ whose title alone celebrates and claims her public perception.

As one of such promotional interviews, the discussion with CNN anchor Fredricka Whitfield began matter of factly as such interviews often do. Conducted by satellite, as the anchor and the comedian were in different cities and different sets. It was routine even by Joan Rivers standards. We expect that she will live up to her reputation and give us some of her signature polarizing humor. Perhaps even generate still more controversy with the latest outrageous remark. An F bomb perhaps.

In fact, coinciding with the book’s publication, Joan Rivers was already raising eyebrows. Implying that President Barack Obama was the first gay president and that First Lady Michelle Obama a transgender, for instance.

Fredricka Whitfield was laudatory in fact, acknowledging Rivers as a comedy trailblazer. They launched into a candid about her numerous plastic surgery procedures.

Whitfield also asked her whether or not the jokes she had made about Princess Diana had gone too far. To which Joan Rivers replied, “Winston Churchill said if you make someone laugh, you give them a little vacation and maybe you take the worst thing in the world and make it funny. It’s a vacation for a minute from horror.”

But then the unexpected happened when Whitfield broached the topic of the cover of the book, and said, “You know, you have some shock value to you. The cover of your book, you’re wearing a fur and you knew that there would probably be animal rights activists…”

And that was the flashpoint. Joan Rivers began to launch into a tirade, saying among other things, “This whole interview is turning into a defensive interview. Are you wearing leather shoes? Then shut up.” She went on to say that she had worked for animal rights and added, “You know I’m going. I really am going. It’s negative. I’ve made people laugh for 50 years. My book is funny. You are not going to interview a person who does humor. sorry!”

And with that, Joan Rivers removed her microphone and left the set. You can see the video below.