Kelly Ripa hits back at Kathie Lee Gifford for slamming her depiction of Regis Philbin in new memoir
NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK: Kelly Ripa fires back at Kathie Lee Gifford, who slammed Ripa's depiction of the late Regis Philbin in her new memoir 'Live Wire' after claiming "she has not read the book and does not plan to read it." Gifford initially made those statements because she was unhappy with how Ripa portrayed her late co-host, Regis Philbin, in her book. But Ripa has hinted the controversy only served to boost sales of the book and said "my ultimate comment is Thank you."
Ripa, 52, originally hit the headline for promoting her book in an interview with People and describing her professional relationship with Regis "not a cakewalk." Gifford, 69, who put herself in the middle of the controversy and went on 'Good Day New York' and discussed the book with anchor Rosanna Scotto, said, "I was very sorry to see the headlines." Adding that she hoped what she had heard about the memoir "isn't true" and said, "I don't get it. I'm not gonna read the book. I haven't read it. I don’t even know if it's out yet."
After which on a new episode of the podcast 'Not Skinny But Not Fat', Ripa, allegedly commented by saying thank you to Gifford for giving her book more publicity, "It is really hard to sell a book. It's really hard to sell a book, right?" Ripa tells the host. "And this is like week three of the book, right? And I mean, honestly, I'm not gonna lie, I was not reading any headlines anywhere. And suddenly, all of these headlines pop up and there's all of this attention on my book." She went on, "So I am a person that tends to take a negative and turn it into a positive, and so my ultimate comment is, 'Thank you.' I mean, it's like really hard to get attention on a book that's been out for a couple of weeks and now it's week two, second week on the New York Times bestsellers list."
During Gifford's interview with Good Day New York, she told the host, "I just know what Regis was to me. He was, for 15 years, the best partner a person could ever, ever have professionally, but he was my friend." Gifford added, "We were dear friends and after I left the show, for the next 20 years, we became better friends, dearer friends." Regis and Gifford were beloved American television hosts while hosting Live! on ABC from 1988 to 2000, until Gifford quit the show. Ripa was hired as a replacement for Gifford whereupon she co-hosted the program with Regis for a decade before he retired in 2011.
Regis died at the age of 88 due to natural causes in 2020. During an appearance on Larry King Now, Regis claimed Ripa did "not really" keep in contact with him after the show and had taken his retirement personally. Regis further went on to explain he only retired because he was getting old, while also claiming the show never invited him back, even for a guest appearance. But Ripa maintained, "The show had reached out many times." Furthermore, Ripa describing her time on the show said, "'There were good and bad days. I don't want to feel like I'm slamming anyone or that I'm being disrespectful. But I also want people to know it was not a cakewalk." She added, "It took years to earn my place there and earn things that are routinely given to the men I worked with. Including an office and a place to put my computer." Ripa went on to continue the show with her now co-host Ryan Seacrest.