LOS ANGELES (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 video that depicted her holding a likeness of the president’s severed, bloody head.
At a rambling press conference Friday, Griffin tearfully predicted her career is over and said Trump “broke me.” Since the video was posted Tuesday, she has lost her job co-hosting CNN’s New Year’s Eve special and had five comedy shows canceled. Trump, first lady Melania Trump and Donald Trump Jr. have publicly criticized the video.
Griffin, who asserted that she has been contacted by the Secret Service, said the Trumps are “trying to ruin my rights forever.”
White House officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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.”
“I’m not laying down for this guy,” she said in one defiant moment. “I’m going to keep making jokes about this guy.”
Republican Party spokesman Mike Reed called the press conference a “desperate attempt” to change the conversation.
“Kathy Griffin’s career was over long before she attempted to make a disgusting joke about decapitating the President,” Reed said. “What she did was wrong and President Trump and his family have every right to condemn it.”
Griffin appeared surprised at the number of cameras and reporters in a packed conference room at her lawyer’s office, her hands shaking at one point when she took a sip of water. She switched between contriteness to combativeness during the press conference, during which she attempted several nervous jokes that drew laughs mostly from her attorney, Lisa Bloom.
Bloom 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.”
Bloom, a former truTV anchor and lawyer Gloria Allred’s daughter, has represented Wendy Walsh, who has accused former Fox News Channel personality Bill O’Reilly of hurting her career after she spurned his advances. O’Reilly has denied the accusations
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