Talk show maven Kathie Lee Gifford, who has defended funny man Bill Cosby (pictured) amidst the tempest of sexual assault allegations swirling around him, now claims that the former Jell-O pitchman tried to kiss her while they were both very married.
Gifford, who is also a singer, used to perform on stage with backup singers and worked with Cosby for more than two years when she was the opening act on his tour back in the late ’70s. Gifford, who now co-hosts a morning chatfest “Today With Kathie Lee & Hoda,” spoke candidly on Tuesday’s show about her near ‘personal brush’ with the legendary performer.
Gifford stressed how Cosby did show her and her backup singers “great kindness and generosity’ during the tour. However there was an incident where towards the end of the tour, Cosby, who was married to Camille Cosby, reportedly tried to come on to Gifford by attempting to kiss her. Gifford, who was married at the time to her first husband, Paul Johnson, put the brakes on the also very married man’s moves. Gifford stated, “I said, ‘No,’ I said. ‘Bill, we’re friends.’ He said, ‘OK, good night,’ and I said, ‘Good night.’ I went into my room and he went into his room.”
Gifford then went on to recount how Cosby brewed cappuccinos for her and her backup singers after each set. The coffee memory now gives Gifford a “chill” she admits, particularly since former model Beverly Johnson has publicly stated how the comedian allegedly laced the very same beverage with a drug when she came to his house in the 1980s.
Gifford’s experience with the now 77-year-old Cosby however was a different one she admits from the experiences of those women, about 15 or so, who are now claiming he sexually assaulted them. “I’m not saying these women’s allegations are not true,” Gifford contends. “From my own personal experiences, it didn’t happen.”
Gifford’s story comes on the heels of Cosby’s youngest daughter, Evin, publicly leaping to her father’s public defense stating, “He is the FATHER you thought you knew.”