“It got tough at times, especially having to decide what I wanted to share about emotionally difficult times in my family” the Beverly Hills 90210 alum, 49, tells Us about the creative process for her new scrapbook Joan Rivers Confidential. The book tells unseen stories of the iconic Fashion Police host, who passed away in 2014, with joke cards, photos and notes from her famous friends.
As for what Joan herself would have thought? “I think her first question would be, ‘How many have we sold?” she joked. Adding that her mom would’ve been amazed … except for one tiny detail. “I think she would be very annoyed that there are some in there from the early days — before retouching really became a standard operation and procedure,” she quipped.
She continued, “She always looked forward, she never looked back. She wasn’t one for reflecting upon accomplishments. It was always, ‘What am I doing next? What’s next? … She certainly wasn’t one of those ego-**driven people that like… ‘I’m gonna get a Lifetime Achievement Award.’ That wasn’t how her brain worked.”
Rivers said her mantra was, “Does this move the narrative forward?” which made her decisions of what to include – and what not to include – a bit easier. What hasn’t gotten easier is missing her beloved mother and their one-of-a-kind dialogue. “Just having someone to speak in shorthand with and to talk about stuff that nobody else cares about,” she said. “That’s what you miss, the shorthand, the common history.”
It’s been three years since her mom passed away and their longtime show Fashion Police just said its final goodbye on November 27, and though Melissa is sad it’s ending, she also admitted, “the fact that I helped create and I got to be a part of a show that ran for 22 years … it’s something I’m so proud of and so proud of in my personal legacy and in my mother’s legacy and the legacy of us working together.”
Her mother – a fashion icon and mentor – wasn’t just looked up to by her daughter, but other famous faces as well. , a longtime friend of the family, has recently been super outspoken over very controversial issues including injustice and inequality. “I think [my mom’s] feeling would be the same as mine … It’s just really sad and really troubling that she is so unhappy,” Melissa said when asked about Griffin’s comments. “This is someone that we’ve known for so long and been part of our lives for so long on a personal level, your larger concern is that someone is that desperately unhappy right now that they’re lashing out the way that they are.”
“It’s just bad that someone you know is so unhappy,” she added.
In March 2015, just months after Joan’s passing, Griffin left the show unexpectedly and Melissa says they haven’t spoken since. “It’s not like we talked a lot before, so it’s not unusual,” she said.
Melissa’s book, Joan Rivers Confidential, is available now.
Reporting by Carly Sloane