Kathy Griffin is fighting back against the abuse and “death threats” she has received in light of controversial images released earlier this week that showed the comedian holding up a bloody head resembling that of President Donald Trump.
In a news conference on Friday, a “super nervous” Griffin accused Trump and his family of personally targeting her.
“I make mistakes, if you don’t stand up you get run over. What’s happening to me has never happened in this great country. A sitting president of the U.S. … is personally trying to ruin my life forever,” she said.
Griffin’s attorney Lisa Bloom said the comedian was contacted by the U.S. Secret Service and said she has retained a criminal lawyer.
Bloom is a victim’s rights attorney who is best known for representing high-profile clients, including former Fox contributor Wendy Walsh, who sued host Bill O’Reilly for sexual harassment.
On Tuesday, photos were released of Griffin that showed the comedian holding up a bloody head resembling Trump. They quickly drew backlash on social media.
Griffin apologized for the “disturbing” photos, taken by provocative celebrity photographer Tyler Shields, later that day.
“I beg for your forgiveness. I went too far,” she said in a video posted to Instagram late Tuesday. “I made a mistake and I was wrong.”
Although Griffin tearfully apologized again during her press conference, she said that she will continue to use Trump as fodder for her comedic material.
“I’m going to make fun of him more now. I have no desire to hurt anybody … I’m under a secret service investigation … they are using me as the shiny object so that no one is taking about this FBI investigation. I made a horrible mistake and horrible call.”
Trump said of the photos that Griffin “should be ashamed of herself.”
By Wednesday, the backlash was loud enough to get Griffin fired from her gig on CNN’s New Year’s Eve program, which she had co-hosted alongside Anderson Cooper since 2007, and cost her an endorsement deal with Squatty Potty, a line of bathroom footstools.
A number of her stand-up gigs have also been canceled in wake of the backlash.
The 56-year-old comic has faced controversies before for her abrasive humor, but none as widespread as the one generated by Tuesday’s images.