In 1987, Joan Rivers’ manager and husband of 22 years, Edgar Rosenberg, committed suicide after Fox fired them both following drama on “The Late Show Starring Joan Rivers.”
Eight months later, Joan considered suicide herself.
“Melissa wasn’t talking to me, my career was in the toilet, I’d lost my Vegas contracts, I’d been fired from Fox [where she had a talk show]. Carson and NBC [she had appeared on the Tonight Show for years] had put out such bad publicity about me. I was a pariah. I wasn’t invited anywhere. I was a non-person. At one point I thought, ‘What’s the point? This is stupid.’
What saved me was my dog jumped into my lap. I thought, “No one will take care of him.” It wasn’t a friendly dog — only to me. I adored this dog. He was theoretically a Yorkie, his mother cheated. His name was Spike. He was the way you want your dog to be, devoted only to you. I was sitting in this big empty house in Bel Air, with a phone with five extensions which we no longer needed. I had the gun in my lap, and the dog sat on the gun. I lecture on suicide because things turn around. I tell people this is a horrible, awful dark moment, but it will change and you must know it’s going to change and you push forward. I look back and think, ‘Life is great, life goes on. It changes.'”
“We were all down in the rubble, and he didn’t want to dig himself out,” Joan says of her husband’s suicide, which forced her back to work to earn a living.
“I understand it, and feel terribly sorry for him,” she adds, “but I wonder if I’d be sitting here today talking to you if he had not killed himself, if we wouldn’t have ended up just a very bitter couple in a house on the hill somewhere.”
Read the rest of Joan’s insightful interview on The Daily Beast >
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