Kathie Lee Gifford Speaks Out After Kelly Ripa Reveals Strained Relationship With Regis Philbin

by Craig Garrett
(Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)

“I’m not gonna read the book, I haven’t read it, I don’t even know if it’s out yet. I know what Regis was to me,” she continued. and Kelly Ripa had two very different experiences while working with their tv cohost Regis Philbin. In her new book, Live Wire: Long-Winded Short Stories, Ripa described the alleged incidents with Regis in which she was added to Live! after Gifford’s exit. “It was not a cakewalk,” Ripa told People. “It took years to earn my place there,” she explained. Ripa said she had “good and bad days” with Philbin. “You can’t make a person befriend you,” Ripa explained.

On Monday morning’s Fox 5, Gifford was asked about Ripa’s book, and while she hasn’t read it, she clarified that her experience with Philbin was flawless. “I was very sorry to see the headlines. We see headlines all the time and you never know what’s true and what’s not true. I was in Israel when I saw that. [She thought], ‘Oh, I hope this isn’t true,'” she told Fox 5 News. “I just hope it isn’t, because what’s the point?”

Kathie Lee Gifford has no plans to check out Ripa’s new release. “I’m not gonna read the book, I haven’t read it, I don’t even know if it’s out yet. I know what Regis was to me,” she explained. “He was 15 years the best partner a person could ever have, professionally. But he was my friend. We were dear friends. And after I left the show, for the next 20 years, we were dearer friends.”

Kathie Lee Gifford opens up about her last visit with Regis

Just two weeks before his death, she saw Regis and according to his wife Joy, it was the “last time” Philbin laughed. “We were Frick and Frack, the odd couple,” Gifford quipped. “[Regis and I] were absolutely perfect together for television. We never had an argument, not an unkind word in 15 years, so that was my reality.”

Gifford is concerned about Regis’ wife and family reading the unkind words. “That was my first thought, ‘Lord, protect Joy and the girls from this,” she revealed. She went on to insist that Regis was nothing but a gentleman and friend to her for decades. “In all the years I’ve known him, I never saw him unkind to anyone, I never did,” Kathie Lee explained. “I’m not gonna say anything ugly about anybody. I never have and I’m not gonna start now. I’m just saying my reality is something completely different from that.”

“I don’t trash Regis… and I painstakingly wrote every single word of this book and it was hard and those chapters were the hardest in an overall hard process for me,” she insisted. “As a woman, we are often [ordered] to take the high road and that is woman speak for ‘shut the f–k up.’ That’s what it is and that’s what it means.”