AceShowbiz - Almost two years after sharing a photo of her holding a fake decapitated head of President Donald Trump, Kathy Griffin reflects on the infamous stunt that cost her many of her jobs. During an interview with CBS Sunday Morning's "Luke Burbank Sunday", the comedienne said, "I'm Hanoi Jane, you know? I get it. This photo is gonna be with me forever, no matter what I do."
The 58-year-old stressed that the photo was meant as political satire, but the reactions that she got were not a joke. The angry president tweeted, "Kathy Griffin should be ashamed of herself. My children, especially my 11-year-old son Barron, are having a hard time with this. Sick!", prompting the Department of Justice to open an investigation into her.
"I never in my lifetime thought anything like this could happen," she said of the outcome of the controversial photo. Even her 98-year-old mother was upset with her. Kathy recalled, "She called me up and she said, 'I thought I heard that you were in Al Qaeda. Why wouldn't you join another club?' "
She went on sharing, "My little story is historic. Whether you like it or not, it's the first time a sitting United States president has used the full power of the Oval Office, the first family, the right-wing media and, more importantly, two departments within the Department of Justice to open an investigation on a private citizen who did nothing wrong. Didn't violate he First Amendment, didn't break the law."
Kathy ended up being banned from flying and losing her gig as a co-host for CNN's New Year's Eve special with Anderson Cooper. "I really did love Anderson and I really loved doing that gig. And it was a lot of fun. And, you know, they just couldn't get over it," she said of being fired.
Without a platform to do comedy, Kathy channeled her energy to writing "a couple of scripts that I'm not even in." Trying to be positive, she said, "I thought, 'I can do that,' you know? And I thought, 'Well, maybe somebody will buy a script from me if it doesn't say Kathy Griffin.' " But no one was interested in her scripts.
But that didn't dampen her spirit. Believing that she would still have a fanbase in other countries, she then went on a tour overseas. "I thought: 'Well, I know how to be funny, and I know how to get people to buy tickets.' Because I'm pretty sure there's a whole bunch of countries overseas that really don't like Trump," she shared. "And that's how it all started."
Her tour grossed more than $4 million. "And yet, I don't have a single day of paid work on television ahead of me for the rest of my life," she said. But her world tour later became the basis for her new comedy special called "Kathy Griffin: A Hell of a Story", for which she's still looking for a distributor.
While she's slowly back into the spotlight, Kathy admitted some people still couldn't get over the Trump photo. When asked, "Are you still getting death threats to this day?" she replied, "Yes, online and in person."
The Primetime Emmy Award winner recalled a recent experience she had, "I was in London a month ago and I had a driver who took myself and my assistant from London Heathrow to the hotel, and he recognized me from the photo and he said that he was from Morocco and that if we were in Morocco he would cut my tongue off."
"So, that was a long drive!" she added with a laugh. Luke asked, "What kind of rating did you give that driver?" Not letting the rude driver get away with it, Kathy said, "I called the president of the company and had him fired!"
Kathy credited Jim Carrey for sharing some valuable advice that helped her get through the tough moment in her life. "This phrase has always stuck with me," she revealed. "He goes: 'You're going to take as long a time as you need to process it, and then you're going to put it through your Kathy Griffin comedy prism and you're gonna make the story funny and relatable, and you're gonna go tell it.' So thank you, Jim Carrey!"
Despite the problem that she caused and the consequences that she faced after the controversial photo shoot, Kathy said she had no regret. Luke asked, "If you could click your heels together and go back and just like, at the end of the photo shoot before the mask came out, could it just been like, 'Let's call it a day,' would you?"
She replied, "No," before explaining, " 'cause I've learned so much. I think a lot of people would love it if I said, 'Oh, I wish I had never taken that picture. I wish I had never cursed. I wish I had never made this comment or that comment.' But the most important thing that I hope people see is that, long after I kick the bucket, they see the crazy red-haired lady didn't go down."