Kathy Griffin has been doing a lot of thinking in what she calls her “fuck-you house” in the eight months since she was blacklisted by Hollywood for a photo prank gone wrong.
In a new cover story interview with The Hollywood Reporter, the comedian recounts the series of events leading up to the controversial photo shoot, the faulty PR strategy that rolled out afterward and what she’s been up to since ducking out of the public eye.
“I didn’t commit a crime,” she said. “I didn’t rape anybody. I didn’t assault anybody. I didn’t get a DUI. I mean, my God, there are celebrities that fucking kill people.”
Griffin is, however, guilty of taking part in a photo shoot that involved her holding up a bloody replica of President Trump’s head, a stunt that cost her numerous commercial endorsements, her job at CNN as one half of the New Year’s Eve broadcast with former friend Anderson Cooper and other gigs as venues around the country quietly canceled her shows.
In the months that followed, Griffin received safety tips from the FBI regarding hate mail and had the Secret Service investigate her actions to determine whether or not she was an actual threat to the president. Many, if not most, of her celebrity friends began to avoid her at all costs.
Among those who have distanced themselves from her is Bravo host and executive (and her old boss) Andy Cohen, who was picked to replace Griffin for this past New Year’s Eve CNN countdown. In October, when TMZ caught up with him and asked if he’d sought Griffin’s blessing prior to taking the job, Cohen threw out a callous, “Who?” – which set Griffin off.
The star of former Bravo show My Life on the D-List called out Cohen for allegedly giving her cocaine backstage at his Watch What Happens Live “clubhouse” because she wanted “to illustrate a double standard. If it was me [offering drugs backstage], somebody at Bravo would have said, ‘You have to go.’ When you’re a woman, you get one fuckup, and it’s over. When you’re a guy, you get chance after chance after chance.” Cohen has denied the claims.
Griffin also slammed her former attorney, Lisa Bloom, for turning a June press conference into a PR disaster, claiming that Bloom was only using her case for her own benefit.
“It turned out she wanted me to do an infomercial for her,” Griffin said. “When I walked into that room, I had no idea there was going to be a banner above my head that said LisaBloom.com. I didn’t know she was going to Velcro herself to my shoulder so she couldn’t be cut out of any shot. I didn’t know she was going to hand me a mug that said LisaBloom.com. I got all of that in under three seconds.”
(Bloom told The Hollywood Reporter that Griffin was the one who decided to speak “off the cuff” despite the pair preparing statements for several hours beforehand. Of the mugs, Bloom said, “Our mugs have the firm’s name on them. And that sign is always up. It’s pretty standard.”)
At present, Griffin said she is working with Star Wars: The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams (one of her former improv students at the Groundlings school back in the Eighties) to develop possible TV ideas, and is working on new material for stand-up in hopes of making a big comeback.