Here’s a lesson: If you’re going to attempt to sue Joan Rivers, you better do some research first. Or, at least look up your state’s definition of “privacy.”
It turns out Ann Bogie, who filed a lawsuit based on invasion of privacy and misappropriation of image claims, against Rivers and a camera crew, had no leg to stand on. A federal appeals court this week ruled that Rivers engaged in nothing illegal.
The Wisconsin woman was filmed backstage conversing with Rivers and showing her support for the comic after a heckler at a Lake of Torches Casino show called the icon out for making jokes about Helen Keller. “The audience member, who had a deaf son, took offense to the joke,” reports the State Bar of Wisconsin. “Rivers responded about the importance of comedy to deal with tough issues, and embarked on a short diatribe against the heckler, calling him several names.” That’s putting it mildly. You can watch the incident below, which is featured on the 2010 documentary Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work.
The 16-second exchange between Rivers and Bogie found its way onto the film and thus Bogie claimed that her right to privacy was violated and that her image was used illegally. Bogie sought payment for damages and attempted to ban further distribution of the film.