The former 'Live With Regis and Kathie Lee' host says she won't read Ripa's new memoir.
Kathie Lee Gifford would rather not hear Kelly Ripa’s thoughts on their late co-host, Regis Philbin. On Monday, the former Live With Regis and Kathie Lee host shared that she didn't have any plans to read Ripa's book, Live Wire, and wasn't pleased about the headlines concerning the nature of Ripa and Philbin's relationship.
“I was very sorry to see the headlines,” Gifford said during an interview with Fox 5 NY on Monday. “We see headlines all the time, and you never know what’s true and not true.”
“I was in Israel, and I saw that and I went, ‘Oh, I hope this isn’t true. I just hope it isn’t,'” she continued. “'Cause what’s the point?’ I don’t get it. I’m not going to read the book. I haven’t read it. I don’t even know if it’s out yet.”
ET has reached out to both Ripa and Gifford's reps for comment.
Gifford hosted Live with Philbin from 1985-2000, before Ripa replaced Gifford as co-host in 2001. Gifford shared that her time with Philbin on the show and off was nothing but positive, and that he was the perfect co-host and partner.
“I know what Regis was to me, really. He was 15 years, the best partner a person could ever, ever have professionally," she said. "But he was my friend. We were dear friends. And after I left the show, then the next 20 years, we became better friends. Dear friends. I saw him two weeks before he died.”
The former Today co-host continued, “We always just picked up right were we left off. We were absolutely perfect together for television. 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 bad 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."
The source also notes, "Kelly was extremely respectful of Regis and the situation, while also candid about her experience. It was a tiny portion of Kelly’s book."
In her book, Ripa wrote about her relationship with Philbin and shared that it was mostly 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]."