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EXCLUSIVE: Bristol Palin Responds to Kathy Griffin's 'Fat' Attack

Kathy Griffin hosted the VH1 Divas salute to the troops this weekend, but her “jokes” about Bristol Palin being “fat” fell flat.

"She's the only contestant in the history of the show to actually gain weight," Griffin said in reference to Bristol's trip to the finals on “Dancing With the Stars.”

Even after the troops' loud booing, Griffin continued the attack.

"No, come on, come on. She gained like 30 pounds a week, I swear to God, it was fantastic,” Griffin said. “She's like the white Precious."

(Actress Gabourey Sidibe played the role of “Precious,” a 350-pound black woman in the hit Lee Daniels film which was released last year.)

But Palin, 20, isn’t letting 50-year-old Griffin’s digs bring her down.

“The audience's reaction to this ‘comedian’ spoke volumes, and the decent people I know would probably have booed her, too,” Palin told Pop Tarts in an exclusive statement. “I hope people didn't have to pay money to hear her negativity and criticisms.”

The annual VH1 show, which was taped at San Diego’s Miramar Marine base and presented by the USO, also featured a slew of young performers such as Katy Perry, Nicki Minaj and Paramore. So could Griffin’s comments be potentially dangerous to the young viewers who tuned in to watch their idols on stage?

“Calling Bristol Palin fat is inappropriate and distasteful, even under the guise of humor,” body image expert and author of “Love Your Body Love Your Life,” Sarah Maria, told Pop Tarts. “The problem is that people, and particularly young people, easily absorb the ideas, beliefs, and attitudes that are presented to them. [It's a problem] when someone makes critical comments about someone else’s body and weight, beliefs such as ‘fat is a horrible thing,’ ‘I am no good unless I am thin.'"

According to PopEater’s Rob Shuter, VH1 producers considered editing out the awkward dialogue and response, recorded Friday night, but given the attention it generated, decided to leave it in Sunday’s television broadcast.

VH1 and a rep for Griffin declined to comment.

And while Griffin strutted in a bikini in what she called her “starvation body,” the comedienne wasn’t always so willing to flaunt her figure.

Just last year, the “Suddenly Susan” star admitted that she fell prey to some serious body image issues while seeking out her “big break” in Hollywood. Not only did Griffin get a nose job at the age of 26 in an attempt to improve her appearance, in addition to liposuction that she claims almost killed her, she also reportedly exercised obsessively, starved herself during the day and binged at night. 

Having experienced the pain and pressure of show business first-hand, might one think Griffin would be a little mores sensitive to such issues?

“It is quite surprising, given her own experience," Maria said. "One would hope that her own difficulties would awaken a sensitivity, understanding, and compassion regarding the difficulties of body weight and image in today’s culture."

Deidre Behar contributed to this report

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