Kelly Ripa’s new memoir has been making headlines for its buzzy content — but one person who will not be reading the book is her Live! predecessor, Kathie Lee Gifford.
“I was very sorry to see the headlines,” the 69-year-old TV icon — who helmed Live! Live! for more than a decade until her departure in 2000 (and Ripa’s takeover in 2001) — began in a Monday, October 10 interview with Fox 5’s Rosanna Scotto.
Gifford continued: “You know, you never know what’s true and what’s not true. I went, ‘I hope this isn’t true. I just hope it isn’t.’ ‘Cause what’s the point? I don’t get it. I don’t get it.”
The 52-year old All My ChildrenCohosted by alum Live! Live!Philbin, 2001-2011, was candid in her book. Live Wire: Short Stories of Long-Winded InterestThis is her story about her relationship with the late Who Wants to be a Millionaire?Host, who passed away in July 2020 at age of 88.
While the two weren’t super close in real life — Ripa called the idea “a basic misconception” — actress also revealed there was a power struggle.
”My name had to be smaller than Regis’ name on the Live!Branding and title card. A game of inches, that speaks for it self. We were able to agree on this point. Seniority, after all,” Ripa penned in the book, noting that “seniority” soon turned into an “elusive” term never used in reference to her experience.
As Gifford told 64-year-old Scotto, “I’m not gonna read the book. I haven’t read it. I don’t even know if it’s out yet.”
“I just know what Regis was to me, Rosanna,” she continued. “He was 15 years the best partner I could ever have professionally. He was also my friend. We were dear friends and after I left the show … for the next 20 years we became better friends. Dearer friends.”
Gifford spoke out about the special relationship she had with her late cohost and said that she had seen him two weeks before his July 2020 death.
“‘That’s the last time I heard Regis laugh,’” Gifford recalled the late star’s widow, Joy PhilbinTelling her about their last meal together.
The TV producer also hoped that Joy — and Regis’ four grown children — wouldn’t have to see Ripa’s comments.
“Lord, protect Joy and the girls from this,” Gifford shared on the show. (Regis shared Amy with his ex-wife and Daniel with his son Daniel. Catherine FaylenJoanna and J.J., with Joy.
“In all the years I’ve known him, I never saw him unkind to anyone. I never did,” Gifford emphasized about her relationship with the late television icon. “I’m just saying my reality is something completely different from that.”