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'I went too far': Kathy Griffin apologizes for posting a video of Trump's 'severed head' on social media after Secret Service suggests she will be investigated for threatening the president
During a press conference addressing the controversy that has been following her ever since she posed for that infamous photo of her holding what looks like the bloody, severed head of Donald Trump, Kathy Griffin broke down in tears and claimed that Trump “broke me.”
Kathy, who claimed that she was just parodying Trump saying of Megyn Kelly that “she had blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever,” said that she had dealt with “white guys trying to hold her down before.”
When asked if she thought the fact that her friend Anderson Cooper had called the photo “disgusting” was him using his own words or CNN’s, Griffin broke down and then claimed that the whole outrage of the photo was just a distraction from the FBI investigation.
Her lawyer, Lisa Bloom, also claimed that the Trump family had bullied and tried to “ruin” Griffin and that they were responsible for the loss of her jobs, claiming that this kind of backlash wouldn’t have happened “to a white guy.”
When TMZ published the Griffin photo, President Trump responded by saying, “Kathy Griffin should be ashamed of herself. My children, especially my 11 year old son, Barron, are having a hard time with this. Sick.”
“As a mother, a wife, and a human being, that photo is very disturbing,” Melania Trump said of the photo, saying it “makes you wonder about the mental health of the person who did it.”
Bloom also reported that Griffin had been contacted by the Secret Service, though that is standard procedure in matters like this.
Griffin was seen holding up the severed head for photographer Tyler Shields
Kathy Griffin has apologized for posting a video of President Trump's severed head after a furious backlash, sparking the Secret Service into an investigation.
The controversial comedian tweeted 'I am sorry. I went too far. I was wrong' after Griffin was seen slowly raising Trump's head during a photoshoot with infamous photographer Tyler Shields.
She also posted a video promising to remove the offending image after she was lambasted by all sides of the political spectrum, including Chelsea Clinton.
But the apology was not enough to stop the army of critics, both Trump supporters and Democrats from attacking Griffin on social media for the outrageous stunt.
Even her long-time New Years Eve co-host Anderson Cooper said he was 'appalled' by the photo shoot, which he described as 'clearly disgusting and completely inappropriate.'
Meanwhile, the Secret Service made an oblique reference to the controversy on Twitter, reminding everyone that any threats against the president are taken seriously.
Heads up: Comedian Kathy Griffin sparked fury from Trump supporters on Tuesday after footage emerged of her holding up a fake severed Donald Trump head
The controversial comedian tweeted 'I am sorry. I went too far. I was wrong' after the stunt
'On it! @SecretService has a robust protective intelligence division that monitors open source reporting & social media to evaluate threats. Threats made against @SecretService protectees receive the highest priority of all of our investigations. #ProtectionNeverRests.'
As the firestorm of criticism surrounding Griffin increased a CNN spokesman said that they are 'evaluating' Griffin's long-time role hosting its New Year’s Eve coverage but have 'made no decisions at this point'
'We found what she did disgusting and offensive. We are pleased to see she has apologized and asked that the photos be taken down. We are evaluating New Year’s Eve and have made no decisions at this point,' the spokesman said.
Even former first daughter Chelsea Clinton was quick to express her outrage at Griffin tweeting: 'This is vile and wrong. It is never funny to joke about killing a president.
Hey everybody, it's me, Kathy Griffin.
I sincerely apologize. I am just now seeing the reaction to these images.
I'm a comic. I crossed the line.
I moved the line. Then I crossed it. I went way too far. The image is too disturbing.
I understand how it offends people. It wasn't funny. I get it. I've made a lot of mistakes in my career. I will continue. I ask your forgiveness.
Taking down the image. I am going to ask the photographer to take down the image. And I beg for your forgiveness. I went too far. I made a mistake and I was wrong.
Griffin, an outspoken opponent of Trump who is best known for presenting the New Year's Eve countdown with Anderson Cooper on CNN, is seen holding the head, which is slathered in fake blood.
During footage of the shoot, posted on her own official website Griffin said: 'Tyler and I are not afraid to make images that make noise.'
That's certainly what happened when the footage and pictures hit the web.
The shocking images quickly set social media alight, with many calling for her to be locked up for supposedly 'threatening' the president.
'This is discusting [sic] Kathy Griffin has never been funny,' said self-styled conservative paralegal NativeCA. 'This should be reported to the FBI & Twitter.'
President Trump's eldest son Donald Jr. also got in on the act, attacking Griffin for posing with a severed fake head resembling his father, saying it was 'disgusting but not surprising.
'This is the left today. They consider this acceptable,' he tweeted. 'Imagine a conservative did this to Obama as POTUS?'
'It's sad that the left today would rather see America suffer and fail than to see it succeed with @realDonaldTrump at the helm. #maga'
The Secret Service - while not citing the video or image - chose this tome to remind its followers on Twitter that the agency monitors social media and took any threats against the president very seriously
Griffin's long-time co-host Anderson Cooper also criticized her on Twitter
Even former first daughter Chelsea Clinton was quick to express her outrage at Griffin tweeting: 'This is vile and wrong. It is never funny to joke about killing a president
Mitt Romney denounced the comedian for dragging politics 'into an even more repugnant & vile territory'
Sarah Palin, who has long been a target of mockery for Griffin was quick to jump on the bandwagon, branding the post 'sick'
Kellyanne Conway joined in, pointing out that the outspoken comic had plenty of time for reflection before she posted the picture
In another tweet he demanded to know if CNN would keep Griffin on the air after the stunt.
He also tweeted his thanks to Cooper for his condemnation before demanding to know if the TV host would work with Griffin in the future.
'Asking for a lot of people. #LMK,' he added.
Kellyanne Conway joined in, pointing out that the outspoken comic had plenty of time for reflection before she posted the picture.
'Kathy Griffin did not misspeak or misstep. She plotted & posed for photoshoot. Ample time for reflection/correction,' she tweeted.
While Mitt Romney denounced the comedian for dragging politics 'into an even more repugnant & vile territory.'
Sarah Palin, who has long been a target of mockery for Griffin was quick to jump on the bandwagon, branding the post 'sick.'
'No one should be shocked at the sick audacity of sick characters. Kathy is a hurting individual. She needs help,' she tweeted.
Meanwhile on Twitter @nancygolliday said 'Parading beheading of POTUS makes @kathygriffing a terrorist and an enemy of the state. She needs to be treated as such.'
And Dr J wrote: 'You're disgusting. Honor our military but dishonor our President and Commander in Chief? You'd behead our President? Hypocrite.'
Even some self-described liberals got in on the act.
CNN anchor Jake Tapper said: 'It's pretty disgusting. I can't imagine how anybody would think that's appropriate.'
'Big time Liberal here - and a Kathy Griffin fan - and I agree,' said Tanya Crosse. 'This is not ok and there is no excuse. She should immediately apologize.'
Meanwhile, Simar wrote: 'We can't knock the alt right for promoting hate speech & then support Kathy Griffin for promoting violence against the President.'
In footage of the shoot, Griffin is seen joking that she and Shields will have to flee the country once it gets out.
'We have to move to Mexico today,' she said, 'because we're gonna go to prison. Federal prison.
'Call your dad, apologize, then let's you [and me] go to Mexico because we're not surviving this.'
She's seen in the footage lifting the grisly 'head' out of a metal bowl, then rotating it towards the camera until it hits a spot that Shields likes.
Finally, at Shields' demand, she drops it to the ground.
Griffin responded to the outrage with a two-part tweet, the first part of which saw her mocking the imaginary dead president
Mocker: Griffin claimed she was 'merely mocking the Mocker in Chief' in the second part of her tweet, and that she wasn't condoning violence
In the video Griffin says that 'Tyler and I are not afraid to do images that make noise. And also he often lights me to the point where I look about 15.
'But first I'm an artist. But really it's good lighting.'
On Tuesday afternoon Griffin seemed to want to silence some of the 'noise' she'd been so proud of when she tweeted that she didn't condone violence.
However, that only came as the second part of a two-tweet message that began: '1/ I caption this 'there was blood coming out of his eyes, blood coming out of his...wherever' Also @tylershields great Photog/film maker.'
The second tweet read: '2/ OBVIOUSLY, I do not condone ANY violence by my fans or others to anyone, ever! I'm merely mocking the Mocker in Chief.'
Griffin had posted a video on Memorial Day in which she invited people to give a moment's silence for those who died fighting for America.
Shields had posted the image a few hours before with the message 'Friend text me this 'I hear Tijuana is beautiful this time of year.''
Shields has made a name for himself as a provocative photographer whose images include Lindsay Lohan as a blood-soaked vampire and a KKK member being hanged by a black man.
In 2011 he came under fire for a photo shoot with Glee star Heather Morris in which she sported a 'black eye'. Critics said that he made light of domestic abuse.
He later apologized after receiving death threats, adding: 'If you are anti-domestic abuse spread the word about it. Threatening to kill me is not going to help anything.'
Tyler Shields is famous for taking provocative images of stars such as Lindsay Lohan, He also put this image of Griffin on his blog
Griffin was reportedly inspired by Game of Thrones. In 2011 the show featured the severed head of George W Bush (left); producers apologized and the shot was edited in later showings
Griffin was emulating the beheadings seen in Game of Thrones, according to Daily Wire.
The show came under fire itself in 2011, at the end of its first season, when it featured a shot of George W Bush's head on a stick.
The wax head was one of a number of severed heads placed atop a castle's wall; the producers apologized, and said that there was no political intent.
Rather, they said, they had used it because it was one of a number of pre-made heads they had lying around.
The grisly shot was edited for later airings and DVD releases.
Griffin's has never been one who was afraid to court controversy in her stand-up.
But her buoyant, irreverent style has often landed her in trouble over the years as she often toes - or merrily skips over - the line in search of comedy.
She sparked outrage during her Emmy Award acceptance speech in 2007, for reality show Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List, when she mocked stars thanking Jesus for their award.
'Now, a lot of people come up here and thank Jesus for this award,' she said during her acceptance speech. 'I want you to know that no one had less to do with this award than Jesus. He didn't help me a bit. If it was up to him, Cesar Millan would be up here with that damn dog. So all I can say is suck it, Jesus, this award is my God now!'
Critics, including the Catholic League and Fox TV host Bill O'Reilly condemned the comments but Griffin claimed she had been mocking celebrities and not the church.
Just two years earlier, she'd faced a furious backlash after she joked during a 2005 E! televised event that then child actress Dakota Fanning, 11, had entered rehab - which saw Griffin fired from hosting red-carpet awards.
Griffin claims to be banned from a number of TV shows including The View after a joke about Barbara Walters, and from New York's Apollo Theater after she cursed in her routine.
She also caused complaints during 2012 while appearing on New Year's Eve coverage with long-time co-host Anderson Cooper, who recently came out as gay, after she appeared to repeatedly grope him on air.
The comedian has also had a turbulent past when it comes to politicians.
Griffin famously confronted Republican Congresswoman Michele Bachmann over her views on homosexuality at the 2010 Radio and Television Correspondents' Association Dinner, asking her 'were you born a bigot or did you grow into it.'
While Griffin has been a long-time critic of Sarah Palin, made fun of Palin's daughter, Bristol Palin.