Kathie Lee Gifford
Source: Entertainment Tonight YouTube

The legendary Kathie Lee Gifford is speaking out this week to reveal how her strong Christian faith allowed her to forgive her late husband Frank when he had a very public affair with a flight attendant decades ago.

Kathie Lee Talks Forgiveness

Kathie Lee, 70, was married to Frank from 1986 until he died in 2015 at the age of 84. In 1997, he had an affair with Suzen Johnson, a former flight attendant, in a story that quickly became tabloid fodder.

The Giffords’ two children Cody and Cassidy were just 7 and 4 at the time, and Kathie Lee admits that the next few months were  “very painful” for her. However, thanks to her Christian faith, she’d learned to “practice forgiveness” long before marrying Frank. 

Kathie Lee had previously been married to the Christian composer Paul Johnson from 1976 until they divorced in 1982 due to irreconcilable differences, and she learned quite a lot from this experience.

“I’d been married before to a man who betrayed me deeply and I forgave him right away.  You don’t hold on, don’t wait to forgive… you’re only hurting yourself,” Kathie Lee told Entertainment Tonight. “Immediately forgive because love cannot live where hate does.”

Kathie Lee explained that she sees everything “as a choice,” including love, forgiveness and giving up on a marriage, something that she ultimately refused to do with Frank.

Related: Kathie Lee Gifford Opens up About ‘Crippling Loneliness’ She Suffered After Deaths of Her Husband and Mother

Frank’s Affair Was ‘Very Painful’ For Kathie Lee

Even so, Frank’s affair with Suzen still brings up “very painful” memories for Kathie Lee decades later.

“My faith was definitely tested the most during the whole year dealing with Frank’s infidelity because I thought that I had finally found my soulmate,” she admitted, according to Daily Mail.

Kathie Lee also felt the pressure of public scrutiny when it came to deciding whether or not she should leave Frank.

“Oh I was damned if I did, and damned if I didn’t,” she explained. “If I stayed with him I was just a stupid woman that put up with a cheating husband, if I left, [people would have said], ‘Oh you call yourself a Christian.'”

After leaning on her faith, Kathie Lee made the decision to stay with Frank, and they remained together for the rest of his life.

“It’s not a bed of roses,” she previously said in 2020. “I mean, we struggled after that for a long time. He knew that I would never again be exactly the same as I was before I knew the truth of what he had done.”

“I knew my children would be very, very different people if we had broken up at that time,” she added.

Is Kathie Lee Currently Dating?

Nearly nine years after Frank’s death, Kathie Lee is keeping her personal life private. When asked if she’s currently single in her latest interview, she replied, “You don’t know what’s going on in my personal life, nobody does.”

“I’m so convinced that if the Lord brings another beautiful man into my life, I am not gonna talk about it,” she continued. “We’ll probably get married, privately, and tell the world a year later so that nobody’s opinion matters!”

Related: Kathie Lee Gifford Reveals Why She’s Keeping Her Love Life Private

Though forgiveness is a staple of Christian faith, it is also one of the hardest things to practice, particularly when it comes to infidelity. God bless Kathie Lee for opening up about her own struggle with forgiveness when it came to a very tough situation between her and her late husband.

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