Secret Service Investigating Kathy Griffin for Trump Scandal
Update: A lawyer for comedian Kathy Griffin says she’s being investigated by the Secret Service for her joke involving a fake head that resembled President Trump.
“We’re going to fully cooperate with the Secret Service in their investigation,” said Dmitry Gorin, a criminal lawyer hired by Ms. Griffin, according to the New York Times.
During her joint press conference with attorney Lisa Bloom on Friday, June 2nd, Kathy Griffin was at times emotional and at times nervously facetious as she reiterated how horrified she was by the negative reactions to her controversial decapitated Donald Trump photo shoot — though the pair also slammed President Trump for his un-presidential reaction to the art.
According to a press release that Bloom tweeted Thursday, Griffin has endured “bullying from the Trump family” over the years, which may have been an impetus for her art collaboration with photographer Tyler Shields. “Ms. Griffin and Ms. Bloom will explain the true motivation behind the image,” the release reads.
At the press conference, Bloom pointed first and foremost to Trump’s now-notorious comment about former Fox News reporter Megyn Kelly last fall, about how the journalist had “blood coming out of her wherever,” a comment that Trump never apologized for.
“This was clearly a parody of Trump’s own sexist remarks, taken to an extreme, edgy visual,” Bloom told reporters. Griffin also later emphasized that she had no intention of threatening anyone with her photo shoot, but only wanted to provoke. Here are a few other highlights from the press conference:
“If I could redo the whole thing, I would’ve used a blow-up doll and no ketchup.” – Griffin on any regrets she has about doing the shoot itself
“I get what I am, I’m the shiny object so that nobody’s talking about his FBI investigation.” – Griffin on the Trump family’s attacks and reactions on social media
“I don’t think I will have a career after this. He broke me, and then I was like, ‘No, this isn’t right.’ And then I apologized and then I realized what was really happening and then it was a mob mentality.” – Griffin about the fallout since Tuesday
“Kathy and Donald Trump are not equals. He’s the president of the United States. He’s not just Donald Trump, real estate developer, and this isn’t just another celebrity feud. He’s the president of the United States. His family is calling on Kathy on Twitter to be fired from all of her jobs. This is outrageous and unprecedented.” – Bloom weighing in on why this matters
“That hurt, that’s all.” – Griffin on her reaction to friend Anderson Cooper’s statement
Griffin came under fire earlier this week after posting a photo of herself holding up a bloody, decapitated fake head meant to resemble President Trump. Celebrities and public figures across the political spectrum were quick to denounce the image, and even Griffin’s longtime friend and CNN’s New Year’s Eve special co-host Anderson Cooper admonished her for the photo.
“For the record, I am appalled by the photo shoot Kathy Griffin took part in,” Cooper tweeted Wednesday. “It is clearly disgusting and completely inappropriate.”
CNN cut its ties to the comedienne shortly afterward, as did toilet product company Squatty Potty. The USO also moved to distance itself from Griffin, despite two tours with the veterans organization.
Griffin herself apologized in a video she posted to social media Wednesday, in which she admitted that she had gone too far. “I sincerely apologize,” she said in the clip. “I am just now seeing the reaction [to] these images. I’m a comic. I cross the line. I move the line, then I cross it. I went way too far. The image is too disturbing. I understand how it offends people. It wasn’t funny. I get it.”
So far, few celebrities have spoken out in defense of Griffin, though veteran comic Jim Carrey and Jamie Foxx have both emphasized the importance of comedy in precarious times.
“I think it is the job of a comedian to cross the line at all times – because that line is not real,” Carrey told Entertainment Tonight Wednesday. “If you step out into that spotlight and you’re doing the crazy things that [Trump] is doing, we’re the last line of defense. And really, the comedians are the last voice of truth in this whole thing. It’s impossible to get away from it.”
Kathy Griffin offered a mea culpa via social media on Tuesday, but celebrity friends and TV networks are distancing themselves from the comedienne. Watch here.