Kathie Lee Gifford Says Hoda Kotb Handled Joel Schiffman Breakup 'with Grace and Kindness'

"My darling Hoda, I am truly so proud of the way you have handled a very difficult and painful decision," Kathie Lee Gifford wrote on social media

Kathie Lee Gifford is supporting her former co-anchor Hoda Kotb through her recent breakup.

During Monday's episode of Today, Kotb, 57, announced that she and fiancé Joel Schiffman are going their separate ways. The show shared a portion of Kotb's statement on social media, where Gifford, 68, shared a loving message in the comments.

"My darling Hoda, I am truly so proud of the way you have handled a very difficult and painful decision," Gifford wrote. "As usual you did it with grace and kindness. May God bless you and your precious girls and Joel as well as you continue down this thing called life. I love you."


Kotb and Schiffman, 63, share daughters Hope, 2, and Haley, 4. They have been together since 2013 and got engaged in November 2019.

For more on Hoda Kotb and Joel Schiffman's split, listen below to our daily podcast on PEOPLE Every Day.

"Joel and I have had a lot of prayerful and meaningful conversations over the holidays and we decided that we're better as friends and parents than we are as an engaged couple, so we decided we are going to start this new year ... on our new path as loving parents to our adorable, delightful children, and as friends," Kotb said on Monday.

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She added, "It's not like something happened. They say sometimes relationships are meant to be there for a reason, or a season or for a lifetime. And I feel like ours was meant to be there for a season."

Though they're no longer co-hosts, Kotb and Gifford have continued to support each other through their highs and lows.

Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford
Nathan Congleton/NBCU Photo Bank/Getty Images

Last year, Gifford made a guest appearance on Today, where she opened up to her former colleague about her new relationship, following the death of longtime husband Frank Gifford in 2015.

"I've just found somebody that is so much fun to be with," Gifford said at the time. "He is challenging to me. He's the smartest person I've ever met, but he's funny."

She continued, "We have a great time together, and so at this point in my life that's exactly what I need and exactly what I want, you know? Different seasons of life — we weren't meant to know each other before, it's right now. We don't know what the future holds at all, but we're having fun today."

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