American Comedian Kathy Griffin responded to mounting criticism against her after she published a photo of herself holding what resembled the severed head of U.S. President Donald Trump, accusing “a bunch of old white guys” of trying to silence her.
During a news conference Friday, a teary-eyed Griffin accused the president and his allies, whom she referred to as “nut jobs,” of launching a campaign to get her fired from her jobs, simply because she is a woman.
“This wouldn’t be happening to a guy. This is a female thing,” Griffin said, when asked if she thought a male comic would be treated the same way.
The entertainer lost a television appearance on CNN and had five performance dates on her tour cancelled following the release of the photo showing her holding a reproduction of a bloody head that looked like Trump.
When asked about her loss of work Friday, Griffin called it “hurtful” that so many entities had chosen to distance themselves from her. Her attorney, Lisa Bloom, said Griffin had been a victim of “censorship.”
Trump, on Wednesday, reacted to Griffin’s photo on Twitter, calling it disturbing – particularly to his children.
Kathy Griffin should be ashamed of herself. My children, especially my 11 year old son, Barron, are having a hard time with this. Sick!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 31, 2017
First Lady Melania Trump, in a rare move, also issued a statement Wednesday, questioning “the mental health” of a person who would take such a photo.
“As a mother, a wife, and a human being, that photo is very disturbing,” she said.
Griffin initially apologized for the photo after it received widespread criticism across the political spectrum, saying she had “moved the line” and then “crossed it.”
She changed her tone Friday, though, calling Trump a “fool” and accusing him of attacking her in an effort to distract from other issues currently facing his administration.
“They have mobilized their armies or their bots, or whatever they do,” she said. “I don’t think I will have a career after this. I’m going to be honest, he broke me. He broke me.”
Griffin said she "put about five minutes of thought into this" before posing for the photo and her intention was to cause a controversy.
“I said: ‘let’s get in trouble. Let’s give them something to talk about,’” she said.
Further, she called releasing the photo: “The right thing to do.”
Dmitry Gorin, a criminal defense attorney hired by Griffin, confirmed Friday that Griffin is the subject of a U.S. Secret Service investigation for her role in the photo, but said “there really wasn’t a threat” and called the photo “a bad joke.”
“We’re going to fully cooperate with the Secret Service in their investigation,” he said.