Jimmy Kimmel backs down from feud with Sean Hannity after death threats against his baby

Jimmy Kimmel backs down from feud with Sean Hannity after death threats against his baby.
Jimmy Kimmel Photo credit: Reuters

Jimmy Kimmel has backed out of a heated celebrity feud after receiving "vile" death threats against his wife and infant son.

The US late night TV host was engaged in a bitter war of words with Sean Hannity, who hosts a far-right opinion show on Fox News.

It started when Kimmel made a joke about Melania Trump, which triggered an attack from pro-Donald Trump pundit Hannity, who called him an "ass clown" and "despicable disgrace".

After firing back with his own insults, Kimmel now aims to tone down the hostility and has even offered an apology.

"While I admit I did have fun with our back and forth, after some thought I realise that the level of vitriol (mine and me included) does nothing good for anyone and, in fact, is harmful to our country," says Kimmel on Twitter.

"Even in 2018, the vile threats against my wife and wishes for death on my infant son are shocking and I encourage those who made them to give their words and actions thought. I, too, will give my words more thought and recognise my role in inciting their hatefulness."

The apology Kimmel offered was not to Hannity himself, but to "members of the gay community" after making a joke insinuating sexual activity between the Fox News host and Donald Trump.

"I will take Sean Hannity at his word that he was genuinely offended by what I believed and still believe to be a harmless and silly aside referencing our First Lady's accent. Mrs Trump almost certainly has enough to worry about without being used as a prop to increase TV ratings," continued Kimmel.

"I am hopeful that Sean Hannity will learn from this and continue his newly-found advocacy for women, immigrants and First ladies and that he will triumph in his heroic battle against sexual harassment and perversion."

Hannity has referenced the message from Kimmel on Twitter and teased an upcoming televised response.

Newshub.

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