Kathy Griffin arrives for the iHeartRadio Music Festival on September 24. Griffin held a press conference to comment on the photo she released of herself holding up a decapitated head resembling President Donald Trump. File Photo by James Atoa/UPI | License Photo
June 2 (UPI) -- Kathy Griffin held a press conference Friday to address her controversial anti-Trump photo and the ensuing harassment she has faced following its release.
The 56-year-old comedian was accompanied by victims rights attorney Lisa Bloom as Griffin shared her reasoning behind the photo, how it has affected her career and how she feels bullied by the president and the federal government.
The photo, taken by celebrity photographer Tyler Shields, was released Tuesday and featured Griffin holding up a bloody, decapitated head resembling Trump. Griffin apologized for the image, stating "I went too far," following backlash on social media.
Trump responded to Griffin on Twitter writing, "Kathy Griffin should be ashamed of herself. My children, especially my 11 year old son, Barron, are having a hard time with this. Sick!"
The secret service also launched an investigation into the matter saying that the photo could be perceived as a threat.
"If you don't stand up, you get run over. What's happening to me has never happened in the history of this great country. A sitting president of the United States and his grown children and the first lady, I feel, are personally trying to ruin my life forever," Griffin said to reporters.
"Regarding the image, that apology absolutely still stands. I feel horrible. If I could redo the whole thing, I would have a blow-up doll and ketchup," she continued.
Griffin said she has received death threats following the incident. "I'm teasing the President. This is America and you shouldn't have to die for it. The death threats are constant and they are detailed and they are serious and they are specific. Today it's me and tomorrow it could be you."
Despite the controversy, Griffin still intends to poke fun at Trump. "I'm going to make fun of him more now. I have no desire to hurt anybody ... I'm under a secret service investigation ... they are using me as the shiny object so that no one is talking about this FBI investigation. I made a horrible mistake and horrible call."
"I just want to make people laugh, that's all I want to do and I screwed up," Griffin said fighting back tears.
Following the photos release, Griffin says she has lost a number of comedy jobs. She was fired from CNN as co-host of the company's annual New Yea's Eve coverage.
"The message is clear. You criticize the president, you lose your job," Bloom said.