LOS ANGELES (CBSNewYork/AP) — Embattled comedian Kathy Griffin says she’s “not afraid of Donald Trump” and plans to keep making fun of him but maintained that she’s sorry for a photo and video that depicted her holding a likeness of the president’s severed, bloody head.
At a news conference Friday, Griffin tearfully predicted her career is over and said Trump “broke me.”
She said she “made a horrible, horrible mistake” but also called the president “a bully,” adding “I’m not laying down for this guy.”
Since the video was posted Tuesday, she has lost her job co-hosting CNN’s New Year’s Eve special and had at least four comedy shows canceled. Trump, first lady Melania Trump and Donald Trump Jr. have publicly criticized the video.
“What’s happening to me has never happened ever in the history of this great country,” Griffin said. “Which is that a sitting president of the United States and his grown children and the first lady are personally, I feel, personally trying to ruin my life forever.”
Griffin’s attorney Lisa Bloom says the comedian has been contacted by the Secret Service.
“Kathy has endured the most powerful man in America and his family using their power to target her,” Bloom said.
Griffin, 56, repeated her claim that the video was a parody, meant as a pointed comeback to Trump’s remark last summer that former Fox News Channel personality Megyn Kelly had “blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of wherever.”
“It was a parody of Trump’s own sexist remarks taken to an extreme, absurdist visual,” Bloom said.
Bloom also said the comedian has a First Amendment right to make fun of the president.
“Whether or not you get, or like, her artistic expression, in America, Kathy has the right to parody the president,” Bloom said. “She never imagined it would be misinterpreted as a threat of violence against Trump.”
Griffin said she has received death threats over the image.
“This is America and you shouldn’t have to die for it,” she said. “The death threats I am getting are constant and they are detailed and they are serious and they are specific.”
Though Griffin apologized within hours of the images appearing online Tuesday, they were met with swift and widespread condemnation.
The president tweeted that Griffin “should be ashamed of herself” for posting the images.
The first lady also issued a statement, calling the photo “very disturbing.”
“When you consider some of the atrocities happening in the world today, a photo opportunity like this is simply wrong and makes you wonder about the mental health of the person who did it,” she said.
On Thursday, venues in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania canceled November shows.
The State Theatre New Jersey said it canceled Griffin’s performance set for Nov. 3 “after careful consideration of recent events and for the safety of our patrons.”
The St. George Theatre on Staten Island also called off a show for Nov. 2, saying it “does not endorse the actions or beliefs of any of its performers, and Ms. Griffin’s recent actions have severely inhibited our ability to fulfill our mission as a non-profit theatre serving the Staten Island community.”
The Community Arts Theater in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, posted on its website that the show had been dropped “due to the recent controversy surrounding Kathy Griffin and the concern for the safety and security of our patrons and staff.”
When asked Friday about the firing from her job at CNN, a gig she’d had for more than a decade, Griffin said, “There’s a bunch of old white guys trying to silence me, but that’s wrong.”
She also lost an endorsement deal with Squatty Potty also ended.
Sen. Al Franken also dis-invited Griffin from an event promoting his new book, “Giant of the Senate.”
“After hearing from many Minnesotans who were rightfully offended, I’ve come to the conclusion that it would be best for her not to participate in the event we had previously scheduled,” the Minnesota Democrat said Thursday, a day after he had said she was still welcome. “I understand why Minnesotans were upset by this, and I take that very seriously.”
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on Thursday called Griffin “disgusting” and said the photo was “completely outrageous.”
The comic has faced controversies before for her abrasive humor, but none as widespread as the one generated by Tuesday’s images.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)