Kathie Lee Gifford opened up about her late husband’s cheating scandal in her new memoir, It’s Never Too Late: Make the Next Act of Your Life the Best Act of Your Life. In the book, the 67-year-old singer and television personality went into detail about Frank Gifford’s infidelity, which took place 11 years into what would ultimately be a 29-year marriage.
“It was absolutely devastating,” Kathie Lee wrote, per Too Fab. “Nobody knows what I went through. You feel hopeless and you don’t want to live anymore.”
The former Today show host, who went through a difficult divorce from first husband Paul Johnson in 1982, opted to go to counseling with Frank, the father of her two children, instead of immediately leaving him once she learned of his betrayal. She noted that Frank’s 1997 affair with a seductive flight attendant was out of the norm during their long and loving relationship.
“If this had been chronic behavior from Frank, I would have divorced him like that. After what I’d been through with my first marriage, then to be with a chronically unfaithful husband, no.”
Kathie Lee, who lives her life based on her strong Christian faith, added that “nothing” in the Bible made her think she had to stay with her spouse if he had been a habitual cheater.
Therapy provided hope and healing for the famous couple.
“That guy I adored and that’s why we were able to turn it around,” she wrote. “It was the right thing for my life to forgive my husband. And then work at forgetting.”
While they had some post-affair rockiness, the couple stayed married for 29 years. Frank passed away in 2015.
In her book, Kathie Lee described Frank as a “good” and “generous” man and a wonderful father to their kids, Cody and Cassidy. The TV host also noted that the person you love the most in the world can also be who hurts you the most.
Fans of the famous couple were shocked in 1997 when intimate photos of Frank with buxom blond Suzen Johnson were splattered across the tabloid The Globe. At the time, it was alleged that the supermarket tabloid paid the former TWA employee to seduce the NFL legend and get him to go to a Manhattan hotel room where a video camera was hidden to capture their illicit rendezvous, according to The Washington Post.
A devastated Kathie Lee had to deal with the public scandal while she was a co-host on Live with Regis and Kathie Lee. She has said that her close friend Regis Philbin, who passed away earlier this year, had her back in the aftermath of Frank’s betrayal.