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Kathie Lee Gifford is taking a stand for her friend Regis Philbin by saying that she will not be reading Kelly Ripa’s new book in which she appears to bash the late talk show host.

Gifford co-hosted the popular “Live” morning talk show with Philbin from 1985 until 2000, and Ripa then replaced her, co-hosting the show with Philbin from 2001-2011. Daily Mail reported that in her new autobiography “Live Wire: Long-Winded Short Stories,” which came out at the end of September, Ripa detailed her relationship with Philbin.

‘I Don’t Get It’

In an interview on Monday morning, Gifford defended her late friend, making it clear that she does not support Ripa writing negative things about him in her book.

“I was very sorry to see the headlines,” Gifford said. “We see headlines all the time, and you never know what’s true and not true. I was in Israel, and I saw that and I went, ‘Oh, I hope this isn’t true, I just hope it isn’t,’ Cause what’s the point? I don’t get it.”

“I’m not going to read the book,” she added. “I haven’t read it. I don’t even know if it’s out yet.”

It’s been reported that in her book, Ripa wrote that Philbin barely spoke to her when the cameras weren’t rolling, which prevented her from seeing her co-host as a friendly person. Gifford, however, said that this was not her experience with Philbin at all.

Related: Kathie Lee Gifford Pays Tribute To Regis Philbin On His 91st Birthday

‘He Was My Friend’

“I know what Regis was to me, really,” she said. “He was 15 years, the best partner a person could ever, ever have – professionally. But he was my friend, we were dear friends. And after I left the show, then the next 20 years, we became better friends, dearer friends. I saw him two weeks before he died.”

Gifford went on to explain that she and Philbin “always just picked up right were we left off” and “were absolutely perfect together for television.”

“We never had an argument – not an unkind word in 15 years, so that was my reality,” she declared, adding, “In all the years I’ve known him, I never saw him unkind to anyone; I never did.”

In her typical classy Christian way, Gifford stopped short of criticizing Ripa directly.

“I’m not going to say anything ugly about anybody: I never have and I’m not going to start now,” she stated. “I’m just saying that my reality is something completely different from that.”

Watch Gifford talk more about this in the video below.

Ripa Bashes Philbin

While promoting her book last month, Ripa discussed her complicated relationship with Philbin. 

“I, like most of the viewing public, felt like I knew him, but to expect two people from such different generations to have some sort of weird, forced friendship when they never knew each other is a very strange thing to put on one person,” she told Entertainment Tonight. “It was only put on one person and that is how I describe it.”

“There were good and bad days. I don’t want to feel like I’m slamming anyone or that I’m being disrespectful,” Ripa told People Magazine. “But I also want people to know it was not a cakewalk. It took years to earn my place there and earn things that are routinely given to the men I worked with. Including an office and a place to put my computer.”

Gifford’s Thoughts Are With Philbin’s Widow

Gifford said that when she heard about Ripa’s claims about Philbin, she could not help but feel badly for his widow Joy and their daughters. She previously said that when she learned Philbin had died, she “drove to their house” to spend time with his mourning wife.

Gifford also recalled Joy telling her, “Kathie, I just want you to know that when we saw you for lunch two weeks ago at your house … that’s the last time I heard Regis laugh.”

Related: Right Before Regis Died, Kathie Lee Got A Divine Sign To Head Back East

It’s sad that Philbin isn’t around to defend himself from the claims that are being made against him by Ripa. We applaud Gifford for having the courage to be a voice for her late close friend when he can’t speak out in his own defense.

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