JERRY LEWIS: "I'M ASHAMED THAT JOEY IS CRIPPLED."
NEW ORLEANS - When ten-year old muscular dystrophy victim Joey Smith was stranded with thousands of other New Orleans refugees in the Superdome last week in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, his wheelchair-bound condition elicited an outpouring of nationwide sympathy.
But sympathy has turned to outrage as Jerry Lewis accused Smith of "telethon double-dipping" by accepting substantial donations and lavish gifts from both Lewis' MDA organization and the Hurricane Katrina fundraiser that aired on NBC Friday night. "He's capitalizing on his condition to be 'made whole' twice. There's a word for people like Joey, and it's 'thief,'" said Lewis. Lewis added that Smith needs to make up his mind, "does Joey want to be one of 'Jerry's Kids' or does he want to be one of the so-called hurricane victims who didn't have the sense to come in out of the rain? If the latter, I'll buy Joey a f - - - - - - - umbrella."
Smith, contacted on his new yacht somewhere in the Caribbean, said that Lewis is just "a cranky old man" who has too much time on his hands. "Can I help it if the fat [expletive deleted] is still smarting because Dean dumped him?"