Why Kathie Lee Gifford Forgave Her Husband Frank Gifford’s Infidelity: ‘It Was Devastating’

Kathie Lee Gifford recently spoke on the Today Show about her new memoir. The former NBC co-host reveals details on some very personal issues in her latest book, including her late husband’s infidelity that made the tabloid headlines.

Kathie Lee Gifford
Kathie Lee Gifford | Tyler Essary/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank

Former ‘Today Show’ star gets candid in new book

Encouraging others to pursue their dreams regardless of age, Gifford’s book It’s Never Too Late: Make the Next Act of Your Life the Best Act of Your Life covers her most recent professional pursuits as well as a look back on the more difficult moments of her life. Married to NFL Hall of Famer Frank Gifford from 1986 until his death in 2015, Gifford discusses the tumult their relationship endured after her husband had an affair in 1997.

“It’s not a bed of roses,” the former Today star told Entertainment Tonight. “I mean, we struggled after that for a long time. He knew that I would never again be exactly the same as I was before I knew the truth of what he had done.”

Though Gifford rarely spoke of her husband’s infidelity, she previously commented on the delicate topic to pal and former co-host Hoda Kotb.

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“It takes a lifetime to build that kind of friendship and history together, and trust,” Gifford said to Kotb. “And it takes one stupid decision to destroy it… Sometimes you run out of time to build it up again. I was grateful that we could.”

How Kathie Lee Gifford was able to forgive her husband

Due to their careers in the spotlight, Frank’s infidelity was made public by the media. The outside attention only brought more strain on their family, which included son Cody and daughter Cassidy. Gifford revealed that attending marriage counseling with her husband started the healing process, especially after some wise words from the therapist.

“He said words that are now emblazoned on my heart,” Gifford recalled. “‘Kathie, if you can’t forgive your husband, forgive your children’s father.”

The new perspective seemed to break down a wall for Gifford, where she was able to view her spouse in a more favorable light despite his actions.

“It was a revelatory moment,” the former Live With Regis and Kathie Lee star revealed. “It took my eyes off of me and set them squarely on my children, who were still completely unaware of their father’s unfaithfulness. My children’s father was a wonderful, loving, gentle, compassionate, generous, and sweet man. He was easy to forgive because I knew his heart.”

‘Then Came You’ star hopes her story helps others

Reflecting on her journey through the tough times, Gifford was grateful that she and Frank were able to restore their marriage and keep their family together.

“We stayed together, we saved our marriage, we saved – by God’s grace – our children,” she remarked. “I knew my children would be very, very different people if we had broken up at that time.”

Gifford’s hopes to offer comfort and encouragement to others who may be going through similar circumstances.

RELATED: Hoda Kotb of the ‘Today Show’ Says Former Co-Host Kathie Lee Gifford Is Not ‘An Open Book’

“All these years later,” Gifford commented, “I hear from people all the time who say I’m still married because of what you went through.”

It’s Never Too Late is on sale now.