Kathie Lee Gifford is NOT happy with how Kelly Ripa is taking about her on-air past alongside Regis Philbin.
Of course, Ripa recently released her memoir, Live Wire: Long-Winded Short Stories. Now, obviously, part of the book deals with the daytime TV star’s on-air relationship with Regis while the pair hosted Live! With Regis and Kelly from 2001 to 2011.
At the time, Regis was coming off a 12-year-long run alongside Gifford on Live! With Regis and Kathie Lee, so there was clearly a big change between the two female co-hosts. And it sounds like the two women STILL don’t see things the same way!
First, a flashback! While talking with People late last month, Mark Consuelos‘ wife got real about how difficult it was to step on set with Regis and do daytime work. Ripa told the mag in their late September chat that she had “good and bad days” with Philbin, who died in 2020.
“It was not a cakewalk. It took years to earn my place there. … You can’t make a person befriend you.”
Now, those comments have gotten back to Kathie Lee — and the one-time queen of daytime talk is not happy.
The 69-year-old TV vet appeared on Fox 5 News in NYC on Monday morning and spoke to the local TV outlet’s anchors about Ripa’s book. Gifford was VERY blunt about it, too! When asked about Kelly’s comments about Regis while promoting the new memoir, Kathie Lee said:
“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 and went, ‘Oh, I hope this isn’t true.’ I just hope it isn’t, because what’s the point? I don’t get it.”
And it sounds like Kathie Lee will NOT be reading this new book. The ex-daytime TV talker simply said:
“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. 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 spoke very fondly of the late TV legend. She told Fox 5 about how much she loved working with the longtime television talker for those years on air between 1988 and 2000:
“We were Frick and Frack, the odd couple. We were absolutely perfect together for television. We never had an argument, not an unkind word in 15 years, so that was my reality.”
She was then asked about her former co-host’s surviving family, too, in light of Ripa’s new book. Gifford indicated she is most worried about Regis’ widow Joy being “upset” by the contents of Kelly’s book:
“That was my first thought, ‘Lord, protect Joy and the girls from this.’ In all the years I’ve known him, I never saw him unkind to anyone, I never did. I’m not going to say anything ugly about anybody. I never have and I’m not going to start now. I’m just saying my reality is something completely different from that.”
That’s not good.
You can see Kathie Lee’s comments about Regis and Kelly during her Fox 5 News interview (below):
Clearly, Kathie Lee is trying to take the high road with her “my reality” stuff in that interview. But it’s also very clear that there is a LOT of tension between her and Kelly over Regis’ memory — and Gifford doesn’t seem particularly pleased by how things have been angled with the book so far.
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