It seems that old habits – and old grudges – die hard.
Melissa Rivers appears to be holding a grudge against Jay Leno for holding a grudge against her mother Joan Rivers.
The 47-year-old opened up on Howard Stern about how the former Tonight Show host snubbed her just months after her mother’s death.
Melissa recounted that she was asked to speak at The Hollywood Reporter Women in Entertainment breakfast in December, just 3 months after her mother passed away.
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She said she got a text from her friend Sarah Silverman who informed her that Jay Leno would be seated at their table. When she started freaking out about it, her friend just said “I’ll take care of it.”
Joan was famously banned from The Tonight Show by Johnny Carson after she launched a short-lived show on rival network Fox.
The ban appeared to continue even when Carson was succeeded by Leno as Joan was never invited back during the host’s 20-year run on the show. Leno later admitted in an interview that he didn’t think Carson “wanted to see her on the show.”
Howard Stern talks about Jay Leno’s ban f Joan Rivers on ‘The Tonight Show’ (explicit dialogue)
While Silverman was able to make other seating arrangements for Melissa, the actress still had a run-in with Leno.
“I walk in, and I’m standing, having a coffee in the reception area, and Jay….looks right at me, and looks away,” she described to Stern on his radio show.
Melissa added that she thought he would at least approach her and offer his condolences.
“It would have been closure, and it would have been the right thing to do,” Melissa said.
She then shared that she thought to herself that Leno had “no courage” for not making an effort to talk to her.
But in a statement, Leno’s rep said that it was all a misunderstanding and that the host didn’t recognize Melissa.
“Had he done so, he would’ve come over to extend his condolences,” the rep said.