Kathie Lee Gifford says she’s going to pass on reading Kelly Ripa’s new book.
Ripa became co-host of “Live With Regis and Kelly” in 2000, after Gifford left the longtime morning show.
In her new book, “Live Wire: Long -Winded Short Stories, Ripa writes about her complicated relationship with her former co-host Regis Philbin, who died of natural causes at the age of 88 in 2020.
“I’m not gonna read the book. I haven’t read it,” Gifford said during her “Good Day New York” appearance on Monday. “I don’t even know if it’s out yet. 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.”
According to Ripa, she had guest co-hosted the show three times when she was offered the position permanently. The job offer came with an “ominous” warning, “They want you to know who your boss is,” Ripa said.
When she arrived at the show with her hair and makeup team, Ripa said Philbin turned to their executive producer Michael Gelman and said, “Uh-oh, Gelman, it’s got an entourage.”
“I felt horrible,” Ripa recalled. “He was probably trying to be funny, but at the same time it felt like a pile-on. I understand that probably he didn’t want a co-host, but the network wanted me to be the co-host and I didn’t think I should pass up that opportunity. I don’t think it was fair to him. But it was also not fair to me.”
Gifford said she was “very sorry” to read the headlines about what Ripa had to say about Philbin. Her initial reaction, Gifford said, was “Oh, I hope this isn’t true.”
“In all the years I knew him, I never saw him unkind to anyone,” Gifford said. “I never did. If he liked you, he teased you.”
Ripa did have positive things to say about Philbin as well.
She said she remembers their interactions away from work fondly and holds great respect for her late colleague.
“If I could become a tenth as good, I’d be happy,” she said of Philbin. “It’s taking the audience on a ride with you and remembering that you are always the butt of the joke. I loved him, and I still do.”
CNN has reached out to representatives for Ripa for comment.