To get to Kathy Griffin’s home, you need to pass through a series of gates. The first, an imposing barrier at the entrance to a pri­vate community in a secluded Bel Air canyon, is manned by three stone-faced guards who check your ID and glare suspiciously into your eyes before waving you in. Then you find yourself wheeling around a maze of manicured, British-sounding streets — Stonehenge Lane and Cardigan Court — until you arrive at a slightly smaller gate, where you press a speaker button in order to gain admittance. Finally, you spot the redheaded comic — all 5-foot-3 and 106 pounds of her — standing at the doorway of an enormous Mediterranean-style mansion that looks like it would be right at home on a Tuscan cliff.

“Welcome to my fuck-you house,” she announces.

Kathy Griffin, 57, shares the 13,000-square-foot residence with her 39-year-old boyfriend and tour manager, Randy Bick, and, during the day, a small staff of male assistants (“I like the idea of only having male employees,” she notes). It has nine bedrooms and 12 bathrooms. There’s an elevator, a 12-car garage, an infinity pool with jaw-dropping views, a movie theater (her “gays” are coming by shortly to watch I, Tonya) and eclectic decor (including a portrait of Griffin painted by convicted mur­derer Erik Menendez, a fan, who sent it to her from prison). She is more than happy to disclose that the house cost her $10.5 million, which she paid in cash a year and a half ago, and that Kim Kardashian and Kanye West used to live next door. The splurge was a gesture of defiance: Look, Hollywood, at what this perpetual outsider and self-described D-lister, a woman who built a thriving comedy career by mercilessly mocking celebrities, has accomplished with nothing but her own mouth and a microphone. The double-gated 24-hour security was a nice bonus to the property, but at the time she pretty much took it for granted.

Not anymore. Not since The Photo. Now those gates are the only things letting Griffin sleep at night.

To recap: On May 30, 2017, a hastily and recklessly conceived photograph of Griffin holding up an effigy of a decapitated Donald Trump’s head started circulating online. Almost instantly, the backlash sent her life into a tailspin. She was abandoned in droves by longtime friends, terrorized with death threats from Trump supporters and targeted by federal agents investigating whether she should be charged with conspiracy to assassinate the president of the United States (after two months, they decided the answer was no). Griffin watched as overnight her lucrative comedy career — with virtually zero overhead, her grueling concert schedule was bringing in millions annually — fell apart as venue after venue canceled dates on her cross-country tour and talk shows refused to book her. Despite frantic attempts at damage control — posting a desperate-sounding apology video on YouTube, then retracting the apology in a disastrous press conference with attorney Lisa Bloom during which Griffin claimed Trump “broke me” — nothing worked. She was fired as the celebrity face of “Squatty Potty” (a toilet footstool) and, far worse, was jettisoned by CNN, where she had hosted a popular New Year’s Eve broadcast with Anderson Cooper for the past 10 years. Cooper, a longtime friend, tweeted May 30 that Griffin’s stunt was “disgusting and completely inappropriate.” The two have not spoken since.

Over these past eight months, Griffin’s fuck-you house has become her fuck-you fortress. Or perhaps her fuck-you prison. She’s remained holed up here, plotting her Hail Mary comeback, having escaped for a spell to Europe, where she says she found more forgiving audiences. Mostly, though, she’s been nursing her wounds. “I didn’t commit a crime,” she says defiantly. “I didn’t rape anybody. I didn’t assault anybody. I didn’t get a DUI. I mean, my God, there are celebrities that fucking kill people.”

(Excerpt) Read More in: The Hollywood Reporter

Kathy Griffin: Can a Comic in Exile Come Back?