Kathie Lee Gifford reveals Regis Philbin protected her after husband Frank was caught cheating – Daily Mail

Kathie Lee Gifford reveals Regis Philbin ‘protected’ her after husband Frank was caught cheating on her with married flight attendant

Kathie Lee Gifford is opening up about how longtime co-host and friend Regis Philbin ‘protected’ her during an excruciating time in her marriage to husband Frank Gifford.

Frank, who passed away at age 84 in 2015, was caught cheating on Kathie in 1997 with a married flight attendant, severely straining the couple’s marriage.

Thankfully, Kathie had her friend Regis to lean on, who supported her throughout the scandal.

‘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,’ she told People.

'I always knew Regis had my back': Kathie Lee Gifford is opening up about how longtime co-host and friend Regis Philbin 'protected' her during an excruciating time in her marriage to husband Frank Gifford (pictured 1999)

'I always knew Regis had my back': Kathie Lee Gifford is opening up about how longtime co-host and friend Regis Philbin 'protected' her during an excruciating time in her marriage to husband Frank Gifford (pictured 1999)

‘I always knew Regis had my back’: Kathie Lee Gifford is opening up about how longtime co-host and friend Regis Philbin ‘protected’ her during an excruciating time in her marriage to husband Frank Gifford (pictured 1999)

‘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,’ Kathie said. ‘And he always supported me in all of that.’

The scandal came to light in 1997, when the supermarket tabloid Globe revealed Frank had a sexual tryst with married flight attendant Suzen Johnsen.

Suzen alleged they had been seeing each other for several years.

Indiscretion: The scandal came to light in 1997, when the supermarket tabloid Globe revealed Frank had a sexual tryst with married flight attendant Suzen Johnsen (Kathie and Frank pictured 1991)

Indiscretion: The scandal came to light in 1997, when the supermarket tabloid Globe revealed Frank had a sexual tryst with married flight attendant Suzen Johnsen (Kathie and Frank pictured 1991)

Indiscretion: The scandal came to light in 1997, when the supermarket tabloid Globe revealed Frank had a sexual tryst with married flight attendant Suzen Johnsen (Kathie and Frank pictured 1991)

Looking back at the affair in 2017, Kathie said on Today: ‘It takes a lifetime to build that kind of friendship and history together and trust, and it takes one stupid decision to destroy it.’

‘Sometimes you run out of time to build it up again. I was grateful that we could.’

Kathie said she did consider leaving her husband.

‘Of course,’ she explained. ‘You’re broken. You’re broken by it.’

Staying together: Frank and Kathie were eventually able to move past the transgression, and remained married until his death in 2015

Staying together: Frank and Kathie were eventually able to move past the transgression, and remained married until his death in 2015

Staying together: Frank and Kathie were eventually able to move past the transgression, and remained married until his death in 2015

Frank and Kathie were eventually able to move past the transgression, and remained married until his death in 2015.

The couple share son Cody Gifford, 30, and daughter Cassidy, 26.

Now Kathie is facing yet another trying time in her life with the death of Regis, who died last week from a myocardial infarction due to coronary artery disease at age 88.

The star co-hosted Live! with Regis from 1985 until her departure in 2000, and the pair met for lunch recently with his wife Joy, where Kathie sensed a ‘fragility’ to him that was not present during their last meet-up in January.  

Dynamic duo: The star co-hosted Live! with Regis from 1985 until her departure in 2000

Dynamic duo: The star co-hosted Live! with Regis from 1985 until her departure in 2000

Dynamic duo: The star co-hosted Live! with Regis from 1985 until her departure in 2000

But that didn’t stop the trio from sharing lots of laughs.

‘We sat right here on my screened porch and we laughed ourselves sick — we always just picked up right where we left off,’ she said on Today, adding that she and Philbin had become ‘dear friends’ even after she left the show.

‘We had the best time, and after they left, I just thought to myself: “Lord, is that the last time I’m going to see my friend?”

‘Because he was failing, I could tell.’

Painful loss: Philbin died last week from a myocardial infarction due to coronary artery disease at age 88 (pictured 2012)

Painful loss: Philbin died last week from a myocardial infarction due to coronary artery disease at age 88 (pictured 2012)

Painful loss: Philbin died last week from a myocardial infarction due to coronary artery disease at age 88 (pictured 2012)

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