Kathie Lee Gifford reveals why she forgave late husband Frank’s affair but admits she was ‘never the same’ and ‘furious’

Kathie Lee Gifford has opened up about her late husband’s affair.

The Today Show alum admitted her fury with Frank Gifford, who died in 2015.

Kathy Lee Gifford reflected on her husband's infidelity in a new interview

Kathy Lee Gifford reflected on her husband’s infidelity in a new interview.
Credit: Getty

Frank cheated on Kathie with a woman at a Park Avenue hotel in 1997

Frank cheated on Kathie with a woman at a Park Avenue hotel in 1997.
Credit: Getty

“First of all, I loved Frank. I was p*ssed at him, believe me. And furious that he would take something as precious as our marriage into a hotel room with somebody. It was so unlike him. And he put his whole family at risk because of it. But I also knew that we had a family that we loved,” Kathie, 70, told Fox News.

The television star then told the outlet that prayer led her to forgive her husband’s infidelity.

“I did it to save our marriage because I loved Frank. I was not going to break up our family. Nope…

“A man said to me once, ‘Kathie, if you can’t forgive your husband, forgive your children’s father.’ I said, ‘Well, that guy’s wonderful. That guy is a beautiful human being.’ He said, ‘Then forgive that guy.’ It worked.”

Kathie admitted, “I was never the same though. People take sex so casually, and it pretty much did me in for a long time.

“But I just went back to work, thanked everybody for their prayers and tried to avoid any newspapers for a long, long time.”

However, Kathie revealed to the outlet that she could never fully recover from being cheated on.

“It’s like when you have a scar. Maybe the wound’s not there anymore, but the remembrance of it is. I think marriage is a sacred, sacred relationship, and I was never the same. No, I never was.”

“People come up to me a lot… They’ll say, ‘I just want you to know that because you stayed in your marriage, I stayed in mine. And we’ve been happily married ever since we got over it.’

“Marriage is hard. Falling in love is easy. Staying in love is hard work.”

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FRANK’S AFFAIR

Kathie got married to Frank in 1986, after getting a divorce from her first husband, Paul Johnson, in 1982.

The couple went on to have two children: a son, Cody, and a daughter, Cassidy.

Prior to Frank’s death at 84 on August 9, 2015, he risked his marriage after having an affair.

In Kathie’s new book, I Want to Matter: Your Life Is Too Short and Too Precious to Waste, the star detailed Frank’s infidelity.

Kathie Lee and Frank Gifford’s relationship

The couple was married for almost 30 years before Frank’s death in 2015.

1976-1982

Kathie is married to her first husband, Paul Johnson.

Paul moved out of their shared home in 1981, and the duo divorced shortly after.

Kathie hinted that she and Paul didn’t have a close relationship, and admitted that they weren’t very intimate.

“The truth is, it was only a marriage in the pages of the law. Though Paul and I were married, we shared only one thing – our faith,” she revealed in her 2020 book It’s Never Too Late.

“I was a virgin on my wedding night with Paul, and still considered myself one when he left me five years later,” Kathie wrote.

FIRST MEETING

Kathie revealed that she met Frank – who was a football star 23 years her senior – on the set of Good Morning America.

“I met Frank Gifford because it was 4 o’clock in the morning at Good Morning America, walking down one of the hallways and I looked over at somebody in the dressing room – the best set of buns I’ve ever seen in my life – just leaned over a sink putting in contact lenses,” she told Today.

1986

Kathie and Frank married on October 18.

It was Kathie’s second marriage and Frank’s third, with Frank bringing three children from his first wife.

The couple welcomed their son Cody on March 22, 1990, followed by their daughter Cassidy on August 2, 1993.

1997

Frank cheated on Kathie with a flight attendant in a New York hotel.

2015

Frank died at the age of 84 on August 9 at home in Connecticut.

His cause of death was found to be chronic traumatic encephalopathy, linked to repeated head injuries over his football career.

The affair happened on May 1, 1997, at the Regency Hotel on Park Avenue in New York City, according to Fox.

The outlet added that Kathie avoided Park Avenue for years after the betrayal, in order to escape reminders of the event.

However, a Christian counselor helped Kathie overcome the grief, and witnessing their friend Rev. Billy Graham forgive Frank encouraged Kathy to take the same step.

“Our lives can take some unexpected twists and turns. Some come as the result of our choices; other times it’s because of someone else’s,” Kathy wrote according to the outlet.

“No matter how hard things might become, it’s never too late to bring beauty from the ashes. If you find yourself in such a place as I did – in the midst of a season of great difficulty – take a deep breath, prayerfully face the truth, find a Christian counselor to help you figure out your next steps, and trust God to lead you through.”

Kathy admitted she was 'furious' that Frank would risk their marriage with an affair

Kathy admitted she was ‘furious’ that Frank would risk their marriage with an affair.
Credit: Getty Images – Getty

However, the star revealed that prayer and love encouraged her to forgive Frank, who died in 2015

However, the star revealed that prayer and love encouraged her to forgive Frank, who died in 2015.
Credit: Getty

Despite her forgiveness, Kathie admitted that the affair was like a 'scar'

Despite her forgiveness, Kathie admitted that the affair was like a ‘scar’.
Credit: Getty

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