Kathie Lee Gifford Reveals Bill Cosby Once Tried to Kiss Her

For many years, Bill Cosby was America’s dad. He played the patriarch Cliff Huxtable on The Cosby Show, which was a high point for many of its actors‘ careers. But behind the scenes, Cosby had been drugging and assaulting women for decades before finally ending up behind bars in 2018.

Some of Cosby’s victims were high-profile celebrities, such as supermodels Beverly Johnson and Janice Dickinson. Now, one other person in Hollywood has come forward with their own experience of Cosby’s actions: longtime TV host Kathie Lee Gifford.

Bill Cosby is seen arriving to Montgomery County Courthouse prior a pre-trial hearing to discuss Cosby's new legal team on August 22, 2017 in Norristown, Pennsylvania | Gilbert Carrasquillo/Getty Images
Bill Cosby is seen arriving to Montgomery County Courthouse prior a pre-trial hearing to discuss Cosby’s new legal team on August 22, 2017 in Norristown, Pennsylvania | Gilbert Carrasquillo/Getty Images

Bill Cosby tried to kiss Kathie Lee Gifford

In a December 2020 story with People magazine, Gifford opened up about her experience with Cosby and detailed how he treated her — as well as her reaction to it all. The two worked together for two years and had a seemingly normal relationship. But it all changed one night.

“He tried to kiss me,” Gifford recalled. “He was not the first man during a multi-decade career that came on to me, and I’m just very grateful that I never let any of them take it any further than that.”

Gifford was taken aback at what “America’s dad” had done, and she was was quick to turn down his advances. “The one and only time that he did try to kiss me, I said, ‘No. Bill, you’re my friend,’” she said. “He goes, ‘You’re right. Good night.’”

“I found those accusations against him very painful, because that’s not the man I knew,” she added.

Kathie Lee Gifford | Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank
Kathie Lee Gifford | Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank

Kathie Lee Gifford was shocked at Cosby’s actions

Cosby’s actions left Gifford speechless because he had shown her a completely different side of himself throughout that entire two-year period they saw each other regularly. She discussed the incident in her new memoir, It’s Never Too Late.

“I never saw anybody personally being treated that way by him in two years, traveling all over the country, staying in the same house with him whenever we went to Harris, or in Reno,” Gifford said. “We had great fun together, and I never thought a thing of it ever.”

Kathie Lee Gifford attends the Pre-GRAMMY Gala and GRAMMY Salute to Industry Icons Honoring Sean “Diddy” Combs at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 25, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California | Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

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Bill Cosby did many of the things he did to other women to Kathie Lee Gifford

One part of the whole story that makes Gifford sick is thinking about the coffee drinks that he would often make. It was revealed by Beverly Johnson and others that one of his go-to methods was to offer victims a cappuccino that was laced with drugs.

“He would make me cappuccinos, he’d make the girls cappuccinos, he would pour me a glass of wine on occasion, and I would read the stories about how he would put drugs in other women’s drinks and it was just foreign to me,” Gifford said regrettably. She said the whole experience reminded her of “how you think you know somebody” but in actuality may not know them at all.

When women began to come forward accusing Cosby of assault, Gifford didn’t hesitate on where she stood for one second. “I didn’t doubt the women’s stories,” she said of the accusers. “I don’t know why he behaved the way he did with the other women. That’s their story to tell.”