Kathy Griffin says she was taking 'a lot of valium' after Trump photo scandal

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By Phoebe Egoroff

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In a new op-ed for Newsweek, comedian Kathy Griffin has revealed her personal anguish following a 2017 scandal that saw her photographed holding a fake bloodied, severed head of then-President Donald Trump.

"If that famous 2017 photo of me holding a decapitated Donald Trump head - actually a Halloween mask on a wig holder - had not been shared on social media first, who knows what life it would have had?" Griffin wrote at the start of the piece.

Five years ago, the now-62-year-old suffered immense public backlash after the images were released - going from performing several standup shows to being fired from her annual job co-hosting CNN's New Year's Eve special with Anderson Cooper.

The Illinois native was allegedly also investigated by the secret service, put on a "No-Fly" list, and saw numerous TV and comedy gigs canceled, PEOPLE detailed.

Soon after, she claims that she wasn't "canceled" but, rather, "erased" from Hollywood. Eventually, she revealed that she felt as if she couldn't leave her house for "months." Griffin sadly recounted that the fallout then left her feeling so low she turned to prescription pills, which then saw her hospitalized following an overdose in 2020.

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Griffin admitted that she felt "erased" following her 2017 Trump photo scandal. Credit: ZUMA Press, Inc. / Alamy

"I started taking any prescription pill I could get my hands on. I was taking a lot of Valium, which is very addictive, and Xanax," Griffin said. "I then overdosed on June 25, 2020 and went to the hospital on one of those psychiatric holds."

In the op-ed Griffin ads that she received intense scrutiny from both liberals and conservatives, and many friends - including former co-host Cooper and Andy Cohen - distanced themselves from her. "I learned that my old friends weren't coming back. Anderson Cooper calling my photo 'disgusting' still hurts because I really adored him. Andy Cohen saying 'I don't know her' after it all went down was, and is, painful," she wrote.

"It was just too much for me," she stated, also adding in the piece that she has: "More in common with Britney Spears and Kanye West than I ever wanted to."

Despite still being "banned from most of the talk shows," Griffin wrote that she was thankful that Jimmy Kimmel and Seth Meyers were the only two hosts who allowed her on their shows. She even revealed that White Lotus actress Aubrey Plaza even brought over a casserole to Griffin's house two days after the scandal broke out. "That was very special and meaningful," she recounted.

Now, Griffin seems to have steadily gotten back on track. "I got the help I needed. And now I go to AA, even though I'm a pill girl," she added.

Featured image credit: ZUMA Press, Inc. / Alamy

Kathy Griffin says she was taking 'a lot of valium' after Trump photo scandal

vt-author-image

By Phoebe Egoroff

Article saved!Article saved!

In a new op-ed for Newsweek, comedian Kathy Griffin has revealed her personal anguish following a 2017 scandal that saw her photographed holding a fake bloodied, severed head of then-President Donald Trump.

"If that famous 2017 photo of me holding a decapitated Donald Trump head - actually a Halloween mask on a wig holder - had not been shared on social media first, who knows what life it would have had?" Griffin wrote at the start of the piece.

Five years ago, the now-62-year-old suffered immense public backlash after the images were released - going from performing several standup shows to being fired from her annual job co-hosting CNN's New Year's Eve special with Anderson Cooper.

The Illinois native was allegedly also investigated by the secret service, put on a "No-Fly" list, and saw numerous TV and comedy gigs canceled, PEOPLE detailed.

Soon after, she claims that she wasn't "canceled" but, rather, "erased" from Hollywood. Eventually, she revealed that she felt as if she couldn't leave her house for "months." Griffin sadly recounted that the fallout then left her feeling so low she turned to prescription pills, which then saw her hospitalized following an overdose in 2020.

wp-image-1263182690 size-full
Griffin admitted that she felt "erased" following her 2017 Trump photo scandal. Credit: ZUMA Press, Inc. / Alamy

"I started taking any prescription pill I could get my hands on. I was taking a lot of Valium, which is very addictive, and Xanax," Griffin said. "I then overdosed on June 25, 2020 and went to the hospital on one of those psychiatric holds."

In the op-ed Griffin ads that she received intense scrutiny from both liberals and conservatives, and many friends - including former co-host Cooper and Andy Cohen - distanced themselves from her. "I learned that my old friends weren't coming back. Anderson Cooper calling my photo 'disgusting' still hurts because I really adored him. Andy Cohen saying 'I don't know her' after it all went down was, and is, painful," she wrote.

"It was just too much for me," she stated, also adding in the piece that she has: "More in common with Britney Spears and Kanye West than I ever wanted to."

Despite still being "banned from most of the talk shows," Griffin wrote that she was thankful that Jimmy Kimmel and Seth Meyers were the only two hosts who allowed her on their shows. She even revealed that White Lotus actress Aubrey Plaza even brought over a casserole to Griffin's house two days after the scandal broke out. "That was very special and meaningful," she recounted.

Now, Griffin seems to have steadily gotten back on track. "I got the help I needed. And now I go to AA, even though I'm a pill girl," she added.

Featured image credit: ZUMA Press, Inc. / Alamy