Joan Rivers responds to Peta protesters: ‘Those furs that would have been lying in a cellar have gotten to go to the opera’

The caustic comedian remained unphased when a group of Peta demonstrators shouted at her mid book signing

Nothing can keep Joan Rivers down – not even a very public Peta attack.

The animal rights group arrived unannounced at a promotional event for her new book, Diary of a Mad Diva, held at Barnes and Noble in Times Square yesterday (1 July). They sat among the audience, then stood up holding graphic posters.

One protester shouted out: “Why do you choose to wear fur when there are so many cruelty-free alternatives?”

At first she tries to appease the impassioned demonstrators, telling them, ‘You’re absolutely right; I’m on your side.’ They ignore her and proceed to walk around the room, shouting.

Rivers then promptly loses it.

“Oh shut up, you don’t know what the f**k you’re talking about,” she yelled.

“All the fur I’ve worn has been killed over the years and those furs that would have been lying in a cellar have gotten to go to the opera; that’s number one.”

As the protesters are led out the store, Rivers continues over microphone:

“I agree with you, there are also other issues. I work very hard; I have four rescue animals, so we all do what we do in our own way.”

Rivers and Peta have had a long-standing feud. In 1997, the comedian – who has a penchant for wearing fur – was attacked by someone who threw red paint over her 18-year-old sable and then ran off. Although the organisation denied it, Rivers accused Peta as having engineered the incident.

What other kind of wackos go around doing that?“ she said at the time.

“Why don't they go do something important? They're not upset at the rat poison dogs are eating in Central Park. Don't go after middle-aged, affluent, white women, who are just minding their own business. If an animal had to die to keep me warm for l8 years, it's ok.”