Kathie Lee Gifford would prefer not to hear Kelly Ripa’s opinions on their late co-host, Regis Philbin. On Monday, the former Live With Regis and Kathie Lee host stated that she had no intention of reading Ripa’s book, Live Wire and that she was dissatisfied with the press coverage surrounding Ripa and Philbin’s relationship.
Gifford stated during a Monday interview with Fox 5 NY, “I was really saddened by the headlines.” You can never tell what is true and what is false from newspaper headlines.
“When I saw that in Israel, I thought, ‘Oh, I hope this isn’t real. I simply hope not,'” she continued. “‘Because why bother?'” I don’t get it. I won’t be reading the book. I’ve never read it. I have no idea if it’s out yet.”
Kathie Lee Gifford co-hosted Live with Philbin from 1985 until 2000, before Ripa took over in 2001. Gifford stated that her experience on and off the set with Philbin was entirely wonderful and that he was the ideal co-host and companion.
“I know exactly what Regis meant to me. He was the greatest professional partner a person could ever hope to have “She stated, “However, he was my friend. We were good pals. And after I left the program, we grew closer over the next two decades. Dear pals. I saw him two weeks before he died.”
The former Today co-host continued, “We always just picked up right where we left off. We were totally ideal for television together. We never had an argument. Not an unkind word in 15 years, so that was my reality. In all the years I’ve known him, I never saw him unkind to anyone.”
Gifford said her thoughts were with Philbin’s wife, Joy, and his daughters after learning of the recent headlines concerning Philbin. As for her thoughts about Ripa, Gifford said she wasn’t going to talk badly about anyone.
“I’m not going to say anything ugly about anybody,” she said. “I never have and I’m not going to start now. I’m just saying that my reality is something completely different from that.”
A source close to Kelly Ripa tells ET, “It’s ironic that Kathie Lee’s comments will lead to more people buying the book and reading the truth of what Kelly said about Regis and all the other fun stuff that’s in the book”
In her book, Ripa wrote about her relationship with Philbin and shared that it was most professional and that there wasn’t much interaction off camera, but she did describe him as being “warm and friendly” as well as “a great storyteller.” Philbin also previously said the two lost touch when he left the show.
Despite this, Ripa recently told ET that she had nothing but respect for the late host.
“I had and still have enormous respect, admiration, and reverence for Regis,” Ripa told ET of the late TV personality, who died in 2020. “I, like most of the viewing public, felt like I knew him, but to expect two people from such different generations to have some sort of weird, forced friendship when they never knew each other is a very strange thing to put on one person. It was only put on one person and that is how I describe it [in the book].”