Kathy Griffin Still Not Sorry Over Trump Photo: 'I Knew What I Was Doing'

Comedienne says "good friend" Rosie O'Donnell told her to issue apology to president

Kathy Griffin says "good friend" Rosie O'Donnell told her to issue apology to President Trump. Credit: Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

Kathy Griffin is more adamant now than ever before that she was not in the wrong when she posted a graphic photo of herself holding up President Trump's bloody head in her hand earlier this year.

In a new interview with BBC World News program HardTalk set to air Wednesday, the comedienne reiterated what she said back in August: that she's no longer sorry for the image or the media uproar that followed. (Griffin had originally issued a mea culpa first in video clips she shared via social media, and then during a press conference in June).

"I'm not sorry," she said on HardTalk. "I take the apology back 1,000 percent. The reason I made the apology is when the image went out, I thought people would just think, 'That's Kathy doing another shocking image.' I've done many throughout my entire career, and I've done many shocking things. When I won my first Emmy, I said, 'Suck it, Jesus, because this award is my God now!' And you know, the conservatives took ads out in the papers. That's what they like to spend their time and money on. So yes, I knew what I was doing."

Since the image was first posted online in late May, Griffin said she has gotten death threats and hate mail, and still remains on a no-fly list after undergoing two months of federal investigation. CNN severed ties with her, and several of her tour dates were canceled. Griffin also famously lost a few high-profile friends, including CNN host Anderson Cooper.

What motivated her to initially apologize for the button-pushing image, she explained Wednesday, was a chat with pal Rosie O'Donnell, whom Griffin referred to as "the preeminent expert of being trolled by this fool, 'the Accidental President.'"

"She said, 'What if Daniel Pearl's mother saw this?'" Griffin said, referring to the American journalist who was beheaded in Pakistan. "When she said that, I thought, 'Oh, my gosh.' I've never apologized for a joke. I get it."

Griffin's partner in crime, Tyler Shields, who took the photos, told Architectural Digest in a recent interview that he was surprised at the level of outrage that images incited.

"The day we realized this was going to be really crazy – I don't remember if it was the day after, or a couple of days later – I called Kathy and I said to her: 'Listen, this happened to the Dixie Chicks, if you remember, with the George W. Bush thing, and people were burning their albums, and driving over their albums or whatever,'" Shields said. "Kathy was in a tough mental place and I said, 'Kathy, this happened to them and they thought they were over, and they had that song and it wasn't an apology, and it ended up being their biggest song ever, but it took time.'"

During her press conference in June, a teary Griffin told reporters that Trump "broke" her. "I don't think I will have a career after this," she said at the time.