On Tuesday, New York Daily News TV editor Don Kaplan dropped a bombshell. According to his unnamed source, an impromptu biopsy was performed at Yorkville Endoscopy on Joan Rivers by a physician who accompanied the comedienne, and it was that procedure that sent her into cardiac arrest.
Wednesday, via Reuters and CNN, the clinic fired back, insisting that such a procedure has never been performed at the clinic. On Rivers or any other patient. However, today, Kaplan informed TV Week that his source remains adamant:
“Yes, our source is standing by the story,” said Kaplan via email, “as are others who have come forward with the same information.”
“It is most curious that the clinic’s denial came only after our story was published in print. The clinic and their reps were given all the details about our story, in writing and over the phone, on Tuesday and chose to not offer a denial. Even after the story was posted online Tuesday evening they refused to comment further.”
Kaplan separately covered the clinic’s denial. Presumably, investigators for the State Health Department and the medical examiner will be able to get to the bottom of all this.
Update (September 16):
The biopsy claim is confirmed in a new report by CNN’s Susan Candiotti and Alan Duke. With one, additional, sensational detail:
The cardiac arrest leading to Joan Rivers’ death happened as the comedian’s personal doctor began performing a biopsy on her vocal cords, a source close to the death investigation told CNN.
A staff member at Manhattan’s Yorkville Endoscopy clinic told investigators that the doctor, who has not been publicly identified, took a selfie photo in the procedure room while Rivers was under anesthesia, the source said.