First Lady Melania Trump has responded to the photos of Kathy Griffin posing with the decapitated head of her husband by questioning the comedian’s mental health.
“As a mother, a wife, and a human being, that photo is very disturbing,” she said in a statement. “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.”
The image, taken by photographer Tyler Shields and shared on his website on Tuesday, depicted Griffin holding up a bloody, swollen head resembling the president. It was accompanied by several other, less provocative photos and a behind-the-scenes video in which Griffin says she and Shields aren’t afraid to “do images that make noise.”
The photo was met with backlash from both ends of the political spectrum, leading Griffin to issue an apology video Tuesday afternoon. “I went way too far. The image is too disturbing. I understand how it offends people,” Griffin said.
Trump himself responded to the image on Twitter. “Kathy Griffin should be ashamed of herself,” he wrote in a tweet early Wednesday morning. “My children, especially my 11 year old son, Barron, are having a hard time with this. Sick!”
Griffin has lost at least one sponsorship as a result of the incident, with the toilet stool company Squatty Potty promising to pull advertising featuring Griffin in a statement calling the photo “deeply inappropriate.”
CNN has also cut ties with Griffin, who regularly hosts the network’s New Year’s Eve coverage alongside Anderson Cooper.