Andy Cohen reacts to Kathie Lee Gifford slamming Kelly Ripa’s book

BFFs forever. Andy Cohen shared his thoughts on Kathie Lee Gifford refusing to read his longtime friend Kelly Ripa’s memoir — and why the book doesn’t defame the late Regis Philbin.

“I think if Kathie Lee read the book, she would probably agree with everything Kelly said,” Cohen (54) exclusively said. Us Weekly on Friday, Oct. 14, during an interview at BravoCon 2022. “What Kelly did was tell her experience and it was all so fair and balanced.”

Ripa, 52, recently made headlines when she got candid in her new memoir, Live Wire: Longevity Short Stories, about her relationship with her late co-host, who died in July 2020 at the age of 88.

While the two weren’t close in real life — the Riverdale alum called the idea a “fundamental misconception” — she also revealed that there was a power struggle between the two.

“My name had to be less than Regis’s name on Live! title card and branding. He plays inches, which speaks for itself. But we agreed on that. Age, after all,” Ripa wrote in her stories, noting that “age” soon became an “elusive” term that was never used in relation to her experience.

Gifford, 69, who steered Live! With Regis and Kathie Lee for more than a decade until she left the show in 2000 (Ripa’s takeover began in 2001) — she responded to the former soap’s claims during an Oct. 10 interview with Fox 5 Rosanna Scotto.

“I was very sorry to see the headlines,” she said. “You know, you never know what’s true and what’s not true. I said, ‘I hope this isn’t true. I just hope it’s not.’ Because what’s the point? I do not understand. I do not understand.”

The Lipstick Jungle alum continued that she “won’t be reading the book” before adding: “I know what Regis was to me.”

She continued: “For 15 years he was the best partner I could have ever had professionally. But he was my friend. We were dear friends and after I left the show… we became better friends for the next 20 years. Dear friends.”

The TV producer also hoped that Who wants to be a millionaire widow Joy Philbin — and his four grown children — wouldn’t need to see Ripa’s comments.

“God, protect Joy and the girls from this,” Gifford shared on the show. (Regis shared a daughter, Amy, and a son, Daniel, with his ex-wife Catherine Faylen and daughters Joanna and JJ with Joy.)

Cohen, for his part, said Us on Friday, the Today host sparked initial confusion by “responding to the headline,” noting that the drama between the two women was actually “much ado about nothing.”

When asked if the New York native had read his best friend’s new book, Cohen replied, “Yes, I loved [it]. It was amazing.”

With reporting by Diane Cooper

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