After years of being buddies, comedian Kathy Griffin and television star Anderson Cooper’s friendship came to an end in the wake of Griffin’s controversial photo shoot of her holding a bloodied replica of President Donald Trump’s head.
Almost one year later, Griffin tells radio host Howard Stern that she believes Cooper’s interest in their friendship also wore off over time.
“I was in love with him as a friend,” she said during an appearance on SiriusXM's The Howard Stern Show on Tuesday. “I loved him as a friend. [The friendship] was closer the first five years, then I think he’s the type of guy who’s into shiny objects, so later on he wasn’t as into it.”
“Like, he wouldn’t do promos for me and stuff,” Griffin, 57, continued. “But still, we would get together on New Year’s and the magic would happen and he’s smart and I love his mother.”
Griffin said the two met when Cooper appeared on her MTV series, Kathy’s So-Called Reality. They then started co-hosting CNN's annual New Year’s Eve special, but she eventually lost the job after the controversial photos, which were shot by Tyler Shields, emerged last May.
While talking to Stern, Griffin emphasized that she felt she and Cooper shared a genuine friendship, not just a working relationship for their New Year’s Eve gig. “We’ve had dinner, I’ve stayed at his house. It was a real friendship, for me,” she said.
Griffin also said she was unhappy when the photo scandal had people drawing comparisons between her and TV personality Billy Bush, who was fired from Today after an old tape emerged featuring him and Trump having a lewd conversation about women.
“I didn’t want to be put in the same basket as Billy Bush,” said Griffin, who received a note from Bush following the outcry and now reads it aloud during her live shows. “People would say, ‘Oh, you’ll bounce back.’ I never encouraged the future president to grab someone by the p***y and go score one for The Donald.”
While some friendships may have fizzled following the controversy, others have formed. Griffin fondly recalled how she got to spend time with Stevie Nicks in Sydney, Australia, after attending the singer’s soundcheck.
“I got to hang out with her backstage too, and Chrissie Hynde was there from The Pretenders and that was a whole power woman thing!” she shared.
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