Kathie Lee Gifford was part of a one-sided feud with Howard Stern for decades, and she had no idea why.
Speaking of the recently resolved bad blood between Taylor Swift and Katy Perry on Wednesday, the Today co-host, 64, discussed how, in 2012, she took the first steps to resolve the ill feelings he had toward her.
“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,” Gifford explained to Jenna Bush Hager on-air.
“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,’ ” Gifford recalled. “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.”
According to Gifford, Stern was so shocked by her introduction that he personally reached out to her shortly after.
“There’s a message from him, a voicemail. ‘I was blown away and will you call me?’ ” she remembered. “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.’ ”
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The mother of two responded with kindness, telling Stern, “First of all, 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.”
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She jokingly told Bush Hager, “I now know the meaning of when pigs fly. That one took 30 years.”
This is not the first time Gifford has brought up repairing things with Stern.
“[He said], ‘I used a lot of language, but I’m so sorry. You never deserved it,’ she recalled of Stern’s apology during a February 2014 appearance on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen. “‘You’ve always been so nice. You just pissed me off because you were everything I wasn’t.'”