“I hope this isn’t true”: Kelly Ripa Memoir ‘Live Wire’ Might Have Created New Enemy as Kathie Lee Gifford Defends Late Regis Philbin After Being Accused of Humongous Ego and Sexism

Kathie Lee Gifford is speaking highly of her friendship with the late Regis Philbin, weeks after Kelly Ripa said she and her co-star’s friendship “didn’t really exist.” Gifford and Philbin worked together for 15 years, spread across two popular shows. Gifford co-hosted New York’s The Morning Show with Philbin since 1985, before leading their own national talk show Live with Regis and Kathie Lee from 1988 until her departure in 2000.

Kelly Ripa and Regis Philbin
Kelly Ripa had a tough time around Regis Philbin during the early days of the show.

The controversy erupted after an excerpt from Kelly Ripa’s memoir went viral. She said that working with Regis was a privilege, a great burden and that she did not have an “easy working relationship” with the legendary TV host. In a recent interview, Kathie Lee Gifford reacted to Kelly Ripa’s personal book and explained why Regis Philbin was the “best partner” a person could have on TV.

Also Read: “It was very ominous and it did not feel good”: Kelly Ripa Reveals Distressing Experience With Late Regis Philbin in Her First Live Show, Says She Felt Horrible

Kelly Ripa tells about how she and Regis Philbin were not close at all

Last month, the Hayley of ABC daytime soap opera All My Children, Kelly Ripa, chose to look back on her complicated relationship with Regis Philbin in her personal book titled Live Wire: Long-Winded Short Stories. The Live! co-host’s candor quickly sparked articles and discussions that Kathie Lee doesn’t want to be part of.

Kelly Ripa
Kelly Ripa

In Live Wire, Ripa revealed that she only learned of Regis’ exit from the show when he announced it next to her “on live TV” in January 2011. “He had his reasons for leaving the show. Nobody gets that more than me,” she wrote, adding that she felt “suddenly responsible” for the show’s success on her own. She also said it was “a basic misconception” that she and Philbin were close friends outside of work. In her book, she also alleged, “My name had to be smaller than Regis’ name on the Live! title card and branding. A game of inches, which speaks for itself. But on that, we agreed. Seniority, after all.”

Also Read: “He pleases her over and over”: Kelly Ripa Explains Why She’s Never Tired Of Having S*x With Husband Mark Consuelos After Over 25 Years Of Marriage

Kathie Lee Gifford supports ‘great friend’ Regis Philbin amid the drama

Kathie Lee Gifford was ‘grateful’ for her decades-long friendship with Regis Philbin; they sat side by side for more than 15 years as two of the greatest TV talk show co-hosts of all time, first in 1985 on The Morning Show and then together nationally in 1988 for Live! with Regis and Kathie Lee. She says, “he was 15 years the best partner I 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 became better friends. Dearer friends.”

Live Wire: Long-Winded Short Stories Book By Kelly Ripa
Live Wire: Long-Winded Short Stories Book By Kelly Ripa

Live! with Regis and Kathie Lee first received national syndication in September 1988, three years after Regis and Kathie Lee had been paired together for the New York-based program, The Morning Show. After years of rating success, she left the program in July 2000. Regis undertook to host responsibilities alone for a year while in search of his next co-host, he eventually found his replacement in Ripa.

Also Read: ‘I’ve been quiet quitting for at least 10 years, maybe 15’: Kelly Ripa Had Been Thinking Of Quitting “Live With Kelly and Ryan” Since More Than a Decade

Kathie Lee Gifford Says She’s ‘Not Gonna Read’ Kelly Ripa’s Book

When asked whether she was planning to pick up a copy of the memoir, Kathie Lee Gifford replied, “I’m not gonna read the book. I haven’t read it. I don’t even know if it’s out yet.” She then referenced Ripa, adding, “I’m not going to say anything ugly about anybody.  I never have, and I’m not going to start now.”

She said she “was very sorry” to read the headlines about the book, which debuted last month, recounting her reaction: “I saw that and I went, ‘Oh, I hope this isn’t true.’ I just hope it isn’t, because what’s the point? I don’t get it.” Gifford continues, “In all the years I knew him, I never saw him unkind to anyone. I never did. If he liked you, he teased you.”

Gifford’s “first thought” was about Regis’ family, as she prayed, “Lord, protect [his wife Joy Philbin] and the girls from this.” She also recalled going through boxes of old memories with Joy after Regis died at age 88 from natural causes in July 2020.

Source: Page Six

Lovkesh Singh
Lovkesh Singh

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