Comedian under fire over gory Trump photo

A tearful Kathy Griffin is flanked by her lawyers Dmitry Gorin (left) and Lisa Bloom at a news conference in Los Angeles on Friday. She is under investigation by the US Secret Service for a photo of her holding what looks like the decapitated head of
A tearful Kathy Griffin is flanked by her lawyers Dmitry Gorin (left) and Lisa Bloom at a news conference in Los Angeles on Friday. She is under investigation by the US Secret Service for a photo of her holding what looks like the decapitated head of President Donald Trump. She accused Mr Trump and his family of trying to ruin her life, revealing she had faced death threats over the photo.PHOTO: REUTERS

LOS ANGELES • The US Secret Service is investigating Kathy Griffin for the photo online of her holding what looks like the decapitated head of President Donald Trump, according to her lawyers.

"We're going to fully cooperate with the Secret Service in their investigation," said Mr Dmitry Gorin, a criminal lawyer hired by Griffin.

Mr Gorin, speaking at a news conference with Griffin that had several raucous moments, argued that the investigation should not have been initiated.

Griffin swung from defiant to emotional as she spoke to reporters, and even cracked jokes in an attempt to portray herself as a victim of a sexist backlash spurred by Mr Trump.

"I don't think I will have a career after this," she said tearfully. "I'm going to be honest. He broke me."

Griffin also accused Mr Trump and his family of trying to ruin her life, revealing she had faced death threats from supporters of the President over the photo.

The embattled comedian, who lost her job at CNN co-hosting a New Year's Eve programme and had several comedy shows cancelled, said she feared the stunt could spell the end of her career.

"A sitting President of the United States and his grown children and the First Lady are personally trying to ruin my life forever," she told reporters at the news conference.

The 56-year-old has publicly apologised over the gruesome photo which drew outrage from Mr Trump and his family, as well as across the political spectrum.

Griffin reiterated on Friday that she had made "a horrible mistake", saying the bloodied head image was meant as a retort to comments aimed by Mr Trump at US journalist Megyn Kelly during the election campaign. Mr Trump had described Ms Kelly after she moderated a presidential debate as having "blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of wherever".

A distraught Griffin said while her humour may not be palatable to everyone, she did not deserve the vicious online onslaught she has been facing. "The death threats that I am getting are constant and they are detailed, and they are serious and they are specific," she said.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, NYTIMES

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on June 04, 2017, with the headline 'Comedian under fire over gory Trump photo'. Print Edition | Subscribe