Melissa Rivers Honors Her Mother Joan in Emotional Tribute

by 5:29 PM PST, December 10, 2014
Playing Melissa Rivers Honors Her Mother Joan in Emotional Tribute

It was an emotional morning for Melissa Rivers on Wednesday as she was honored at The Hollywood Reporter's Women in Entertainment breakfast, making her first red carpet appearance since the death of her mother Joan.

"If my mother were here this morning she'd be sitting at the table beaming while discretely shoving croissants and silverware in her mouth," Melissa joked at the event, where she remembered her mother and fought back tears.

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"What use am I to anybody -- especially my mother's legacy -- if I fall apart," Melissa said. "That's not who we are."

Details of Joan Rivers' will were also revealed on Wednesday, which estimated the late comedienne's wealth to be as much as $150 million. She left her fortune to her family and several charities.

"[Melissa] is one of three executors -- the other two were Joan's accountant named Michael Karlin and her interior decorator named Robert Higdon," said probate attorney Herb Nass. "These are the three and under New York law majority rules, so if the other two disagree with Melissa, the two out of three votes would carry the day on whatever issue is before them."

While no specific amounts are given, Joan also left some of her earnings to her publicist Scott Currie and her assistants Sabrina Lott Miller and Jocelyn Pickett.

As for the charities, Rivers gave to God's Love We Deliver -- her winnings on Celebrity Apprentice went toward the organization -- as well as California's Guide Dogs for the Blind, the Jewish Guild for the Blind in Manhattan, the Jewish Home and Hospital Federation of Manhattan, the Simon Wiesenthal Center and The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

Joan passed away on Sept. 4 after suffering from cardiac arrest during an upper-gastric endoscopy and a laryngoscopy on Aug. 28. She was 81. The Yorkville Endoscopy Clinic, where she had the procedure, was cited with numerous infractions in November, including failure to properly monitor Joan's vital signs.