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Wednesday 26 July 2017

Kathy Griffin facing Secret Service probe over Trump head images

Kathy Griffin apologised within hours of the images appearing online
Kathy Griffin apologised within hours of the images appearing online

Kathy Griffin is being investigated by the Secret Service after her controversial photo shoot in which she posed with a likeness of Donald Trump's severed head, her lawyer has said.

Lisa Bloom said the comedian has retained a criminal lawyer, who also appeared at a press conference in which Griffin apologised again for the images.

Griffin said she has been contacted by the Secret Service, but did not provide further information about the inquiry or if she was co-operating.

She said she would not refrain from joking about the president in the future.

The backlash against Griffin has seen at least four theatres cancel her performances. Venues in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania cancelled November shows.

Saturday Night Live star turned senator Al Franken also withdrew an invite to Griffin for an event promoting his new book, Giant Of The Senate.

"After hearing from many Minnesotans who were rightfully offended, I've come to the conclusion that it would be best for her not to participate in the event we had previously scheduled," the Minnesota Democrat said.

He said what Griffin did "was inappropriate and not something that should be anywhere in our national discourse".

Earlier this week, CNN said Griffin would no longer co-host its live New Year's Eve special from Times Square, a gig she had had for more than a decade, and another show was cancelled at a New Mexico casino.

The images provoked swift and widespread condemnation after appearing online on Tuesday, and 56-year-old Griffin apologised within hours.

Mr Trump later tweeted that she "should be ashamed of herself" for posting the images.

Griffin said she has received death threats over the photo shoot, which was motivated by Mr Trump's comments in August 2015 about then-Fox News Channel anchor Megyn Kelly.

Mr Trump had referred to blood coming out of her eyes and other parts of her body.

Griffin, 56, said those statements prompted her to pose with the severed head, which was a mask mounted on a Styrofoam wig mould.

Griffin grew more combative as the news conference went on and said she had nothing to say to Mr Trump's wife Melania or his young son Barron.

"I'm not laying down for this guy," she said in one defiant moment. "I'm going to keep making jokes about this guy."

AP

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