NEW YORK, United States (AFP) — Outspoken US comedian Kathy Griffin, whose decades-long stand-up career was briefly derailed in 2017 after a grisly stunt with a prop depicting Donald Trump’s severed head, said Monday that she has lung cancer.
“I’m about to go into surgery to have half of my left lung removed. Yes, I have lung cancer even though I’ve never smoked!” Griffin, 60, said in a statement posted on Twitter.
She said her doctors were optimistic as the cancer was stage one and confined to her left lung, and that she was not expected to have to undergo chemotherapy or radiation.
“I should be up and running around as usual in a month or less,” she said.
Griffin is a trailblazing comedian whose first album “For Your Consideration,” released in 2008, was the first by a woman to debut at the top of the Billboard comedy charts.
She went on to release five more albums, and has appeared in multiple films and television shows throughout her stand-up career.
But in 2017 the award-winning performer posed with a prop depicting then-president Donald Trump’s severed, bloodied head.
Though she rapidly back-pedaled and apologized, the stunt cost her a job with CNN and united conservatives and liberals in outrage.
Griffin has since spoken publicly of the abuse she has received, telling ABC News in an interview published Monday how it helped drive her to a painkiller addiction and even attempted suicide.
“The irony is not lost on me that, a little over a year ago, all I wanted to do was die. And now, all I wanna do is live,” she said in the interview.
“It’s been a helluva 4 years,” the comedian wrote in the Twitter statement, adding: “but I’m gonna be just fine.”
She was vaccinated against Covid-19, she said, adding: “The consequences for being unvaccinated would have been even more serious.”
“Please stay up to date on your medical check ups,” she wrote. “It’ll save your life.”
© Agence France-Presse