Joan Rivers and 'The Celebrity Apprentice' event planner continue feud
By Christopher Rocchio, 05/12/2009
The Celebrity Apprentice's second season may be over, however the same apparently can't be said about the feud between winner Joan Rivers and event planner David Tutera.
The feud began when Tutera -- the host of WE tv's My Fair Wedding reality series -- quit on Rivers during The Celebrity Apprentice's final second-season challenge, and he subsequently explained his decision to walk away on a posting on his personal website.
"It quickly became evident that Joan cared more about integrating the corporate sponsors into the event than benefiting the actual charity," reads the statement.
"Joan Rivers unprofessional actions and attempts at creating false drama were unexpected and offensive. Rather than respond to Joan's personal attack and participating in an event where the true focus was clearly forgotten, David graciously stepped away from the situation."
Tutera's poor experiences with Rivers also caused him to quit on Annie Dukes, Rivers' The Celebrity Apprentice finale competitor, and forced both women to have to find other resources to design their reception space.
In addition, Tutera also went on Barbara Walters' Sirius Radio show Monday afternoon and called Rivers a "monster."
"In 23 years of being in business, I have never left anyone no matter how difficult they are to work with," Tutera told Walters. "Joan Rivers' behavior towards any human being was so unacceptable -- such a monster -- I cannot begin to even explain."
Tutera told Walters that he met with Rivers and her team to generate ideas for the charity event before the situation quickly took a turn for the worse.
"Joan and Melissa [Rivers] were completely incapable of giving me their insight on how the party should look," Tutera told Walters. "They had zero direction. The rules of the show were, that the producers said to us, that we cannot, me as the person executing the challenge, give the celebrities ideas."
However Rivers has a different side of the story, which she recounted on Tuesday morning's The View. While Rivers said she didn't feel it was necessary to "defend" herself against "this idiot who suggested lounge chairs for a cocktail party," that's exactly what she did.
"[Viewers] saw the phone call, all [of] America saw the phone call," she said. "I dared to say to someone who we were paying [that] I didn't want lounge chairs [for a cocktail reception]. I dared to question [that] we didn't want a room all red. Tell him to get over this. I don't know who he is... You know what this is? Don't get on my back for publicity."
"He says that the first question you asked him when he walked in the room was, 'Are you gay?'" asked Walters.
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"Probably because I adore gay people" responded Rivers. "And the ballet slippers gave him away."
In addition, Rivers said the meal-delivery charity she was competing on The Celebrity Apprentice for -- Gods Love, We Deliver -- is a "gay charity" and she meant no ill intent when asking if he was gay.
Walters asked Tutera on her radio show if he would ever work for Rivers again, and he replied, "Over my dead body." The feeling is apparently mutual.
"I beg America, if you want a nice party, don't go to him," said Rivers on The View.