Make no mistake, Kathy Griffin didn’t sit home and wallow in self-pity on New Year’s Eve.
After being fired by CNN from the annual special she had co-hosted for a decade due to her controversial May 2017 photo with a faux decapitated Donald Trump, the comedian spent the holiday “with my handsome boyfriend, making love,” she told The Hollywood Reporter.
Griffin and her boyfriend, Randy Bick, had originally planned to avoid watching the broadcast, which Griffin had previously hosted with former friend Anderson Cooper (the two haven’t spoken since Cooper called Griffin’s photo “disgusting and completely inappropriate” on Twitter.) However, once they began receiving texts that the show was a “trainwreck” without her on it, they decided to tune in.
“Kathy said, ‘I want to watch,’ ” Bick recalled to THR in the interview published on Wednesday, January 31. “I said, ‘Are you sure? It could be painful.’ But we turned it on, and she was like, ‘This is a dumpster fire.’ “
In December, weeks before the live special aired, a source told Us Weekly exclusively that Griffin was still devastated by Cooper’s reaction to the incident. “[She is] still really heartbroken over the friendship lost with [him],” the insider explained at the time. “[Her] friendship [with Cooper] ended almost immediately after he tweeted about her photo.”
In a moment of desperation following the scandal, Griffin and attorney Lisa Bloom teamed up to do damage control at a press conference, where Griffin appeared to be notably flustered and distraught. Griffin, it seems, felt the attorney had other motives beyond helping her cause. “It turned out she wanted me to do an infomercial for her,” Griffin told THR. “When I walked into that room, I had no idea there was going to be a banner above my head that said LisaBloom.com. I didn’t know she was going to Velcro herself to my shoulder so she couldn’t be cut out of any shot. I didn’t know she was going to hand me a mug that said LisaBloom.com. I got all of that in under three seconds.”
Bloom, however, insisted to the magazine that Griffin simply went “off the cuff,” as she spoke. As for the promotion of Bloom’s firm, she explains: “Our mugs have the firm’s name on them. And that sign is always up. It’s pretty standard.”
Eight months after she posted the photo taken by Tyler Shields, Griffin is no longer offering apologies for the scandal, which, in addition to losing the CNN gig, cost her several tour dates and endorsement deals. “I didn’t commit a crime,” she explained. “I didn’t rape anybody. I didn’t assault anybody. I didn’t get a DUI. I mean, my God, there are celebrities that f–king kill people.”
Amid backlash after the photo was posted, Griffin leaned on several famous friends for support. While hosting a dinner party with Kris Jenner, Melanie Griffith and Rita Wilson on May 30, the same day the photo was released, “We hashed out options, and they were trying to make me feel good,” Griffin recalled. “Getting the laughs going because I was so freaked out.”
However, not all of Griffin’s loved ones saw the humor in the situation. Griffin recalled longtime friend Rosie O’Donnell asking her, “What if Daniel Pearl’s parents saw this?” in reference to the Wall Street Journal reporter who’d been publicly decapitated by Pakistani terrorists in 2001. Additionally, Griffin’s mother expressed her disappointment: “She said, ‘I am not with you on this one, Kathy. You’ve gone too far.’ “
While many major networks are currently declining to work with Griffin, she’s optimistic about her professional future. “The minute I do something that makes money, they will all love me again,” she told THR. “When I’m dead, I’ll be a legend. But not now.”
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