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What's news: Disney holds a "day of listening" for its staff amid John Lasseter speculation. Plus: Trump's State of the Union dips in the early numbers, Jimmy Kimmel questions Stormy Daniels, Fox inks a huge new NFL deal and Kathy Griffin covers the new issue. — Ray Rahman
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On the cover: Can a comic in exile come back? Eight months after torching her career (and friendship with Anderson Cooper) with a not-so-funny photograph of a decapitated Donald Trump, Kathy Griffin is holed up in her Bel Air mansion, talking to the FBI, trying to figure out what happened and pondering a potential comeback: "When you're a woman, you get one fuck-up and it's over." Seth Abramovitch writes:
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 streets until you arrive at a slightly smaller gate, where you press a speaker button. 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. Read more.
+ Her story: "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."
+ The death threats: They were being sent not just to Griffin but also to the theaters where she was scheduled to appear on our. That's when the cancellations started coming in. "I don't blame the theater owners," she says. "These are theaters that are normally playing Mamma Mia! or Stomp, and all of a sudden they're getting calls saying they're going to 'shoot her in the c— live onstage.' That was the most common threat. And that they were going to 'cut my head off and stuff it up my c—.'"
+ How she handles them: "There's a pile that we think is harmless," she explains of the FBI's system. "And a pile that's questionable. And then there's a pile that the FBI says you put in a Ziploc bag and give to them. That's my life now."
+ Her plan: She's been reaching out to anyone who might help, including J.J. Abrams — Griffin's former improv student at the Groundlings back in the mid-1980s — who met with her recently to discuss her various TV ideas. She spends her days writing, making videos, working on new stand-up material and, lately, feuding with her 60-something-year-old neighbors over their loud music playing (they're going to court Feb. 16). "I do normal stuff, like see my mom and play with my puppies, but my mind is always focused on the best way to move forward."
+ Blackballed? Netflix, a natural home with its heavy stand-up push, wants nothing to do with her. And NBCUniversal properties like Bravo, E! and NBC won't touch her, either, at least not at the moment.
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