Kathie Lee Gifford Says Former Co-Star Regis Philbin Had Her Back Amid Her Husband’s Cheating Scandal

'He always protected me on the air,' Kathie Lee Gifford recalled.

Regis Philbin and Kathie Lee Gifford smile at the camera.
Andrew H. Walker / Getty Images

'He always protected me on the air,' Kathie Lee Gifford recalled.

Former talk show host Kathie Lee Gifford opened up in a recent interview with People about her close friendship with her former co-host, Regis Philbin. She explained that he had really been there for her during her husband’s cheating scandal. The legendary television personality passed away of natural causes on July 24.

Kathie Lee’s husband, Frank Gifford, was a former New York Giants star and sports commentator. They shared two children together. In 1997, Frank was wrapped up in a major public scandal when he was caught having an affair with a married woman, a flight attendant named Suzen Johnson.

The story was highly discussed in the media, bringing unwanted attention to Kathie Lee during a difficult period of her life.

During this time, she was working alongside Regis on Live! with Regis and Kathie Lee. He stepped up to the plate to defend her during what was admittedly a very difficult time.

“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,” Kathie Lee began.

Regis Philbin and Kathie Lee Gifford smile at the camera.
  Dimitrios Kambouris / Getty Images

She went on to explain that she was determined not to allow the public’s opinion of her define her worth. Regis assisted her with this.

“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. I was never going to let what the world said about me define me. And he always supported me in all of that.”

Despite his infidelity, Kathie Lee ultimately forgave her husband and they remained together until his death in 2015 at the age of 84.

Regis and Kathie Lee spent 15 years working together and remained good friends even after she left the show in 2000. In fact, she got to see him just weeks prior to his death. He was 88 years old.

During their last meeting, Kathie Lee said that she and Regis shared many laughs together. However, she noticed that something had changed about him. Upon leaving, she wondered if that would be the last time she would see him.

Throughout his life and career, Regis changed the lives of many people, including Kelly Ripa. Ripa and Regis worked together on Live! With Regis and Kelly from 2001-2011. As The Inquisitr previously reported, Ripa teared up while paying tribute to him on July 27.