Kelly Ripa Says Thank You to Kathie Lee Gifford for Not Reading Book

Kelly Ripa is choosing to focus on the positive.

During an appearance on Dear Media’s Not Skinny But Not Fat podcast, Ripa reacted to Kathie Lee Gifford’s comment that she will not read Ripa’s book Live Wire: Long-Winded Short Stories. Gifford’s decision came as news headlines zeroed in on comments Ripa, 52, made in the book about the pair’s former co-host Regis Philbin.

“I didn’t see the interview, so I tend to, like, not go into deep dives about things I can’t comment on because I haven’t seen them. And then I write this entire chapter, [which] is about correcting the record in real-time. Do you do it? Should one do it?” Ripa said. “Theoretically, should a person correct the record in real-time or should they not even comment on it? Because here’s the thing, it’s like I talked to the people who read the book. I knew writing a book was going to open me up to all sorts of criticism, right? But people who read the book have a very different take on those chapters because they read the book.”

Since Ripa is “a big free-speech person,” she believes everyone should “be able to speak” out if they choose to do so.

“You don’t have to read every book. Nobody has to read every book on Earth,” she continued. “The comments I’ve gotten about those chapters have been overwhelmingly positive and the people who read the book took away a lot of positivity from it. It is ironic that it is that chapter where I talk about, ‘What do I do in these situations?’ Do I advance a media narrative with clickbait and all of that stuff? Or do I just drop it?”

But Ripa is ultimately grateful for the buzz surrounding her book — even if it sparked a negative reaction from Gifford, 69.

Mike Pont/Getty; Slaven Vlasic/Getty

“It’s really hard to sell a book, right? And this is like, week three of the book, right? And I mean, honestly, I’m not gonna lie, I was not reading any headlines anywhere. And suddenly all of these headlines pop up and there’s all of this attention on my book,” she said. “So I am a person that tends to take a negative and turn it into a positive. And so my ultimate comment is, thank you.”

“It’s like really hard to get attention on a book that’s been out for a couple of weeks and now it’s week two, second week on The New York Times Best Sellers list. It’s like, thank you, because I think that people that read the book will have a very different take on the book,” she added.

Asked whether she believes Gifford’s opinion could change upon reading the book, Ripa said in response: “I think anybody that reads the book will have a completely different take.”

Released on Sept. 27, LiveWire Contains several stories from Ripa’s personal and professional life. Part of the book details her working relationship with Philbin.

Regis Philbin and Kelly Ripa in 2011.
David Russell/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images

“That was the hardest chapter to write,” she told PEOPLE of penning the sections on Philbin, who died in July 2020 at 88 years old. “I don’t want to feel like I’m slamming anyone or that I’m being disrespectful. But I also want people to know it was not a cakewalk. It took years to earn my place there and earn the things that are routinely given to the men I worked with. Including an office and a place to put my computer.”

Gifford openly LiveWire as a result. “I’m not gonna read the book. I haven’t read it. I don’t even know if it’s out yet,” she recently said on Good Day New York.

“I just know what Regis was to me. He was, for 15 years, the best partner a person could ever, ever have professionally, but he was my friend,” she continued. “We were dear friends and after I left the show, for the next 20 years, we became better friends, dearer friends. I saw him two weeks before he died and the minute I found out he had passed, I got in my car and drove to their house.”

Regis Philbin and Kathie Lee Gifford in 1994.
Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

Gifford also said she was “very sorry” to read the headlines that came from the contents of the book. Recalling her initial reaction, she said: “I saw that and I went, ‘Oh, I hope this is n’t true.’ I just hope it isn’t, because what’s the point? I don’t get it.”

“In all the years I knew him, I never saw him unkind to anyone. I never did,” she added. “If he liked you, he teased you.”

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Live Wire: Long-Winded Short Stories is now available wherever books are sold.

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