Kathie Lee Gifford won't read Kelly Ripa's book; should star have included Regis drama? Expert explains

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Kelly Ripa received criticism from every angle following the release of her first memoir, “Live Wire: Long-Winded Short Stories,” including former “Live!” co-host Kathie Lee Gifford who admitted she wouldn’t be reading the book after seeing Regis Philbin’s name being bashed.

While Gifford stood firm in support of the late broadcasting legend and called Philbin a “great friend” during an exclusive interview with Fox News Digital, she also noted that Ripa can “say whatever she wants” and that she is a “big believer in freedom of expression.” “I don’t believe we’re supposed to cancel anybody,” she noted. 

Dave Quast, brand expert and senior vice president of Red Banyan crisis communications, agreed that Ripa “has every right” to detail her own story on paper, despite any adversity she may or may not receive for the experiences she endured.

“Memoirs would be pretty boring if people only talked about the good things that happened to them and not the challenges they had to face along the way,” Quast told Fox News Digital. 

KATHIE LEE GIFFORD SUPPORTS ‘GREAT FRIEND’ REGIS PHILBIN AMID KELLY RIPA DRAMA

Kathie Lee Gifford said she won't read Kelly Ripa's new book amid talk show host's claims against Regis Philbin.

Kathie Lee Gifford said she won’t read Kelly Ripa’s new book amid talk show host’s claims against Regis Philbin.
(Getty Images)

“Kelly Ripa has every right to tell her story and to share—or not share—her experiences on the show, including shining a light on what it’s like to be a prominent woman in broadcasting.” 

“Live! with Regis and Kathie Lee” first received national syndication in September 1988, three years after Regis and Kathie Lee had been paired together for the New York-based program, “The Morning Show.” 

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The television talk show hosts had their final run together after 15 years in 2000 when Gifford left the program. Regis hosted the program alone for a year while searching for his next co-host, and eventually found his replacement in Ripa, a former daytime soap actress who starred as Hayley Vaughan on “All My Children.”

In her new book, she wrote about having trouble working with Philbin, how she was not allowed to use her own hair and makeup team, and didn’t receive a wardrobe budget. Ripa also noted that her name “had to be smaller than Regis’s name on the “Live!” title card and branding. 

Kathy Lee Gifford and Regis Philbin (pictured in 1988) worked together for 15 years. 

Kathy Lee Gifford and Regis Philbin (pictured in 1988) worked together for 15 years. 
(Ron Galella Collection)

Regis Philbin introduced new co-host Kelly Ripa in July 2001.

Regis Philbin introduced new co-host Kelly Ripa in July 2001.
(Spencer Platt)

“Kelly Ripa has every right to tell her story and to share—or not share—her experiences on the show, including shining a light on what it’s like to be a prominent woman in broadcasting.” 

— Dave Quast, brand expert and senior vice president of Red Banyan

She wrote that receiving the offer to host came with a warning, “They want to make sure you know who your boss is.” Ripa went on to explain that after Philbin left the show, they never had a relationship outside the studio and only socialized on rare occasions.

As Ripa’s memories of working with Philbin began publicly making the rounds, Kathie Lee shared a completely different “reality” of working with the broadcaster for more than one decade.

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My experience with Regis was one of the greatest experiences of my entire life,” Gifford said. “I worked with him for 15 years. We never had one unkind word between us.”

Gifford told Rosanna Scotto on FOX 5’s Good Day New York, “I’m not going to read the book. I haven’t read it. I don’t even know if it’s out yet.”

Kelly Ripa (seen in 2005) recently wrote in her memoir that her working relationship with Regis Philbin wasn't easy.

Kelly Ripa (seen in 2005) recently wrote in her memoir that her working relationship with Regis Philbin wasn’t easy.
(Gregory Pace)

Brand expert Dave Quast noted that Ripa’s continued blunt nature will only draw more readers in to her tome. 

“For all her detractors, I think many other people will appreciate her being candid,” he said. 

“She has said that she holds Regis Philbin in high regard, and nobody should be surprised that their relationship, like all long-term work relationships, had its ups and downs over the years.”

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