Late Star’s Daughter Reveals She Turned Down Inappropriate Offer From DWTS


Heavy/Getty The "Dancing With the Stars" ballroom.

The daughter of a late comedy legend revealed she turned down an offer to compete on “Dancing With the Stars” because the timing of the offer was “not appropriate.”

While speaking on the “Behind the Velvet Rope With David Yontef” podcast on September 28, 2023, Melissa Rivers revealed that she was approached by casting agents for the ABC celebrity ballroom competition not long after the death of her famous mother, Joan Rivers.

Joan Rivers, who starred in E!’s “Fashion Police,” died unexpectedly on August 28, 2014, after she went into cardiac arrest during throat surgery.

Here’s what you need to know:

Melissa Rivers Felt the Timing of DWTS’ Offer Was Not Appropriate, But She Was Never Asked to Join the Show After That

On Yontef’s podcast, Melissa Rivers shared details about the DWTS offer that she turned down. “They offered it to me years ago at a time that was not appropriate, which was right after my mom died,” she revealed. “I did not think that should be my return to TV moment. So I passed.”

Rivers admitted that she understood why she was given the offer at that emotional time in her life. “I know the woman that has cast [‘Dancing with the Stars’] for years and she’s lovely,” Rivers said. “I would have put out, in her shoes, I would have made the same offer. That’s her job and I’ve never been asked since.”

Melissa Rivers added that she would have considered doing the TV dancing show at a later time, but that the offer was not on the table for her. “I would have done it a year later,” she told Yontef. “But a year later, they didn’t want me. So there you go.”

She also hinted that she would turn the offer down today, now that almost a decade has passed since the “Dancing With the Stars” casting department reached out to her. “Nine years ago, I could still do the splits,” she said. “Now, probably not so much, and my back would go out.”

Joan Rivers Wanted to Do ‘Dancing With the Stars,’ But Only With Her Daughter

The topic of “Dancing With the Stars” came up with Joan Rivers multiple times before her sudden death. According to Digital Spy, she once told Access Hollywood that she would love to join the show. “I’d do it in a second. The fun of it and what a great way to exercise!” Joan said in an interview. “I [already] dance to and from Gucci… from the parking lot into Gucci.”

Melissa Rivers chimed in to say that she is not a dancer but would consider taking on the challenge if asked. She also admitted it could be humiliating for her due to her lack of experience on the dance floor.

In a separate interview with Rumor Fix, Joan Rivers pitched a “Dancing With the Stars” partnership as a “team” with her daughter.

“That way I could do the easy steps and Melissa could take over for the bends and that kind of stuff, the twirls and whirls,” Joan said, before admitting her idea was shot down. “They were just having none of it,” she said of DWTS producers.

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