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Rivers defiant over captives joke

Comedian Joan Rivers has refused to apologise for comparing living in her daughter's guest room with the harrowing ordeal of three women kidnapped in Cleveland, Ohio.

The controversy came when Rivers and her daughter discussed their reality show on NBC's Today show on Tuesday and she complained about her living arrangements, saying: "Those women in the basement in Cleveland had more space."

In a statement sent by her publicist, Rivers said it was a joke she made as a comedian. She said the women were free and people should move on. She added she was "thrilled they are OK".

Lawyers for Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus had called Rivers' remark hurtful and said she should apologise.

Ms Berry, Ms DeJesus and a third woman escaped from kidnapper Ariel Castro's home last year.

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