— -- Just as the controversy surrounding the image of Kathy Griffin holding what appears to be a bloody fake severed head of President Trump appeared to be dying down, comes word that the comedian has enlisted celebrity lawyer Lisa Bloom to explain why she shot the image and to respond to the Trump family's alleged bullying.
Bloom, who has represented women who have accused Bill Cosby and Bill O'Reilly of harassment, tweeted Thursday night, "Proud to announce that I represent Kathy Griffin. We will be holding a press conference tomorrow morning."
A press release Bloom tweeted reads, "Earlier this week, Ms. Griffin released a controversial photograph of herself posing with a faux-bloody mask of Donald Trump's face. Ms. Griffin and Ms. Bloom will explain the true motivation behind the image, and respond to the bullying from the Trump family she has endured."
Also Thursday, Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) said in a statement that Griffin will now not participate in a July event in Minnesota with him. Earlier in the week, Franken had said he was standing by the comedian.
But he changed his tune by Thursday, saying, "I believe what Kathy Griffin did was inappropriate and not something that should be anywhere in our national discourse. I consider her a friend and I'm glad she realized she crossed the line and apologized. 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. I understand why Minnesotans were upset by this, and I take that very seriously."
In response to the photo, the president tweeted on Wednesday, "Kathy Griffin should be ashamed of herself. My children, especially my 11 year old son, Barron, are having a hard time with this. Sick!"
First lady Melania Trump said in a statement, "As a mother, a wife and a human being, that photo is very disturbing. When you consider some of the atrocities happening in the world today, a photo opportunity like this is simply wrong and makes you wonder about the mental health of the person who did it."
And Donald Trump, Jr. tweeted Tuesday, "Disgusting but not surprising. This is the left today. They consider this acceptable. Imagine a conservative did this to Obama as POTUS?"
The controversy erupted Tuesday when Griffin, 56, tweeted the photo, taken by celebrity photographer Tyler Shields.
"I caption this 'there was blood coming out of his eyes, blood coming out of his ... wherever,'" Griffin tweeted, referring to an exchange between Donald Trump and former Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly during the presidential primary season.
She tweeted the caveat, "OBVIOUSLY, I do not condone ANY violence by my fans or others to anyone, ever! I'm merely mocking the Mocker in Chief," but that did little to satisfy critics of the photo.
Griffin then tweeted a video of herself apologizing for the photo.
"Hey, everybody, it's me, Kathy Griffin," she says in the video. "I sincerely apologize. I am just now seeing the reaction to these images. I'm a comic. I crossed the line. I move the line. Then I cross it. I went way too far. The image is too disturbing. I understand how it offends people. It wasn't funny. I get it. I've made a lot of mistakes in my career. I will continue."
She continues, "I ask your forgiveness. Taking down the image. I am going to ask the photographer to take down the image. And I beg for your forgiveness. I went too far, I made a mistake, and I was wrong."