Gifford, who co-hosted the morning show with Philbin from 1985 to 2000, was asked about Ripa's new headline-making memoir. In Live Wire, Ripa opens up about her relationship with Philbin even telling Yahoo Entertainment, "I make no illusions that there was this friendship."
"I was very sorry to see the headlines," Gifford, 69, told Rosanna Scotto on Fox 5's Good Day New York. "We see headlines all the time, you know, you never know what’s true and what's not true... I went, 'I hope this isn’t true. I just hope it isn't.' Cause what’s the point? You know, I don't get it. 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."
Ripa replaced Gifford in 2001 and co-hosted with Philbin for a decade. The All My Children alum writes about Philbin in two chapters, detailing some of her former co-star's alleged requests — like that her name be smaller than his on the title card and branding. Ripa claimed Philbin once referred to her while pregnant as "it." The Live! With Kelly and Ryan host called it "a great privilege" to have worked alongside Philbin, but explained "it was not an easy working relationship." Gifford said that couldn't be further from her truth.
"I just know what Regis was to me, Rosanna," Gifford continued. "He was 15 years the best partner I could ever, ever have professionally. But he was my friend. We were dear friends and after I left the show for the next 20 years we became better friends. Dearer friends. I saw him two weeks before he died."
The TV icon passed away in 2020 from heart disease.
"We always just picked up right where we left off," Gifford recalled. "We were absolutely perfect together for television. We never had an argument, not an unkind word in 15 years. So that was my reality."
Gifford hopes Philbin's widow, Joy, and his four adult children don't see Ripa's stories.
"Lord, protect Joy and the girls from this," Gifford said, emphasizing: "In all the years I've known him, I never saw him unkind to anybody."
As for Ripa, Gifford said she's "not going to say anything ugly about anybody."
"I never have, and I'm not going to start now," she said. "I'm just saying my reality is something completely different than that."
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