Kathy Griffin Tearfully Defends Herself Amid Donald Trump Photo Controversy: "He Broke Me"

Comedian has come under fire for an image she shared online of herself holding a prop representing President Donald Trump's severed head

By Samantha Schnurr Jun 02, 2017 5:56 PMTags

While controversy swirls around her, Kathy Griffin has taken the mic to defend herself. 

This week, the comedian was swiftly and widely criticized for sharing an image of herself holding up a prop meant to represent President Donald Trump's severed, bloody head. She was soon fired from her New Year's Eve hosting duties with CNN and several of her shows were canceled by the venues.

The 56-year-old comedian and her lawyers faced the controversy head on with a press conference they hosted Friday afternoon. While surrounded by reporters, photographers and video cameras, Griffin told everyone watching that she does not fear President Donald Trump, who she claims is using her as a distraction from his political actions. She further alleged that he and his family are personally trying to "ruin her life forever."  

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"This president of all people is going to come after me?" she asked. "He picked the wrong redhead."

Jokes aside, the star revealed she has been getting daily death threats and is currently under investigation by the Secret Service. 

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Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

At several points, Griffin became tearful as she reflected on the state of her career in light of the controversy. "I've had everybody turn on me and I just want to make people laugh," she said as her eyes welled up.

"I don't think I will have a career after this," she answered one reporter. "He broke me."

While she hasn't spoken with her former CNN colleague Anderson Cooper, she said the network's decision to cut ties with her was "hurtful."

Though the comedian does not take back her initial public apology, she also said that she will stand up for her first amendment rights. "I am teasing the president because this is America and you shouldn't have to die for it," she said.

As for the photograph itself, Griffin said she and photographer Tyler Shields put "about five minutes" of thought into it and did not receive any payment for it. 

Her criminal attorney Dmitry Gorin added that there was never an intention to threaten anyone with the image.