Some feuds can last a lifetime, especially when you have no idea that you’re involved in one! And for Kathie Lee Gifford, it took her 30 years before she was able to put her one-sided dispute with Howard Stern to rest. On Wednesday, May 9, KLG sat down with her Today co-star Jenna Bush Hager and opened up about her awkward relationship with Howard.
“Howard Stern had a feud with me going on 30 years. I never met him. I never listened to his show. He hated my guts for 30 years. Hated my husband, hated my children. Hated everything I stood for,” she told Jenna before explaining how she became the bigger person and reached out to him first.
Kathie and her family.
“And one day, right here, I was up in the makeup room and all of a sudden he’s here to announce America’s Got Talent. I just feel the Lord saying very clearly to me, ‘Go down and say hello to Howard,'” she recalled to Jenna. “I’m standing right here, he’s 6’ 6″ and I’m 5’ 5″ with flat shoes and I go, ‘Howard, Howard, I’m Kathie Lee. I thought it was time I say hello. I want to wish you the very best with your show.’ And I left. He was really flabbergasted.”
Howard later ended up leaving Kathie a voicemail to apologize for his behavior. “I was blown away,” she said. “He calls again during dinner, we had a half-hour conversation. ‘Will you forgive me, Kathie, please? I’m doing some hard work on my life. I know I hurt you. I’m so sorry and I need to ask you to forgive me.'”
The Today co-host and mom-of-two knew that she was unable to hold a grudge so she told Howard, “I’m so happy for you. You’re doing the work you need to do. That’s important for you to do. And you need to know I forgave you 30 years ago, and I’ve been praying for you every single day since, and I still do.”
During a 2014 appeareance on Andy Cohen’s Bravo’s talk show Watch What Happens Live, Kathie Lee also talked about her one-sided feud with the radio personality. “[He said], ‘I used a lot of language, but I’m so sorry. You never deserved it,'” she said while remembering Howard’s apology. “‘You’ve always been so nice. You just pissed me off because you were everything I wasn’t.'” Jokingly, Kathie Lee later admitted to Jenna, “I now know the meaning of ‘when pigs fly.’ That one took 30 years.”
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