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Kathie Lee Gifford knew that Regis Philbin was always there for her, in good times and in bad. The TV personality revealed that her late friend and former Live! With Regis and Kathie Lee co-star was right by her side during her late husband, Frank's, cheating scandal in 1997.
"Everybody talks about the hard times that I went through that were public. And they were hard times. By any definition they were the most painful times of my life, for sure," Gifford told People. "But I always knew Regis had my back. He always protected me on the air."
"The Bible says, ‘You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.' I knew my own truth," she added. "I was never going to let what the world said about me define me. And he always supported me in all of that."
"They came over about two weeks ago," Gifford said of Philbin and his wife, Joy. "I saw Reg get out of the car with Joy and I sensed much more fragility than I had seen in him since the last time in January out in Los Angeles."
The group spent the day sitting on Gifford's screened porch, where they "laughed ourselves sick" and "picked up right where" they left off.
"We became dear friends through the years since then. Always, always getting together every chance we could and just picking up right where we left off. We just had the best time," she said. "After they left, I thought to myself, 'Lord is that the last time I am going to see my friend?' Because he was failing. I could tell."
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ET’s Most Memorable Moments With Regis Philbin
After learning of Philbin's death, Gifford called his widow and later went to visit her and the couple's daughters, J.J., 45, and Joanna, 47.
"They were in their living room going through pictures," Gifford shared. "There were thousands of pictures. We just reminisced for a little while."
Gifford also reflected on her working relationship with Philbin, sharing that they "always respected each other's opinions so highly" and "never had one cross word" when they co-hosted Live! With Regis and Kathie Lee from 1988 to 2000.