Joaquin Phoenix: Media 'impeded on the mourning process' after River's death

Golden Globe winner Joaquin Phoenix appeared on 60 Minutes Sunday night where he opened up about how intrusive the media was following his brother River’s death in 1993. River Phoenix died of a drug overdose at the age of 23 outside a club in West Hollywood, The Viper Room, and Joaquin explained why he and his family weren’t ready for the intense media coverage his brother’s death would get.

“We were so removed from the entertainment world. We didn’t watch entertainment shows. We didn’t have the entertainment magazines in our house. You know, River was a really substantial actor and movie star and we didn’t really know it,” Phoenix said, adding, “During that time in which you’re most vulnerable, there are helicopters flying over, there are people that are trying to sneak onto your land. Certainly for me it felt like it impeded on the mourning process.”

Phoenix’s mother, Heart, said that the grieving process is still ongoing all these years later.

“The grieving process happens out of nowhere,” Heart said. “Ya know, I’ll be driving and all of a sudden I will feel it. And I’ll just welcome it.”

60 Minutes airs Sundays at 7 p.m. on CBS.

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